Question: What are the different types of train cars on MAX? Part 2 (and 3)
I suppose this can be considered parts 2 and 3, as the Type 2 and Type 3 rail cars are very similar. As far as passengers are concerned, the differences are cosmetic, so for that reason, both types of cars are described together below.
Type 2 – cars 201 through 252
There are more of these than any other in the fleet – 52 altogether. These were the first low-floor cars in the US, manufactured by Siemens and delivered to coincide with the opening of the westside alignment, with Car 205 (designated the Gunter Ernst car) being the first that was delivered. Car 201 has a dedication plaque as well for the Level Boarding Advisory Committee and the Committee on Accessible Transportation.
Each Type 2 car has two cabs, one in each end, and they are sometimes used in service as a single-car train. They have a raised upper deck by each of the cabs, and the sideways-facing seats in the middle of the train (called the C-section, though it has nothing to do with babies) are slightly higher, presumably to have room for the wheels, brakes, and sanding tubes underneath. Unlike the Type 1s which have a lot going on (mechanically speaking) underneath the train, the Type 2s moved basically anything that isn’t related to the wheels, brakes, or sanders to the roof of the train so that the floor of the train is on platform level.
Type 3 – cars 301 through 327
Also manufactured by Siemens, these were introduced in 2003 to coincide with the opening of the Yellow Line alignment. Structure-wise, these low-floor cars look almost identical to the Type 2 cars, but will always have the new TriMet color scheme (whereas only one of the Type 2s does), and advertisements are limited to a small part of the outer design.
Type 3 Exterior – Car 304 haunts me. I don’t know why, but I see/have been in this car more than any other. I’d be nearly convinced there was more than one 304 in the fleet if I didn’t know for certain otherwise.
There are a couple of external differences between the type 2 and the type 3, the most obvious being the mirrors:
From a passenger’s standpoint, Type 3s are essentially identical to the Type 2s.
In the passenger area, the seat backs are higher in a Type 3 than in a Type 2 but the layout is the same. I can think of one other very minor difference that you’ll see in a Type 3 that isn’t in a Type 2 but it’s nothing passengers will ever need to concern themselves with, so basically you can consider the passenger interiors identical.
Can you spot the difference, not counting the height of the seat backs? Told you it was irrelevant to passengers! It has to do with the brakes.
Up next, the new Type 4s!