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Saturday, July 13, 2024

San Diego tram sets Guinness World Record

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One of San Diego’s Siemens-built light rail vehicles has set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by a battery-powered tram on a single charge.

In July, an S70 tram covered 24.6 kilometres in 24 hours on San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) Green Line.

Having initially supplied 11 S70 vehicles to the city in 2005, Siemens was awarded a further contract for 57 low-floor trams in 2009. This was later upped to 65 in 2012.

In a post on the Siemens USA website, Robin Stimson, vice president, business development, rolling stock said: “We were able to achieve this record, in part, because of the unique innovations that today’s world can inspire.

“Our company has long lived in the tradition of making new and exciting things, and that’s why we always strive to be on the leading-edge of the research, development and testing of next-generation technologies like light rail vehicle energy storage.”


  1. What kind of record? 24.6 km only? Battery-powered rail vehicles exist since the end of the 19th century (e.g. 1908: German ETA 177) and ran until 1965 (ETA 150 / 515). The latter at max. speed of 100 km/h with 548 kWh battery capacity (loading time 3 hours) ran up to 400 km daily year in year out. So, the poor 24.6 km are a step back in technology, I am sorry to say.

    • Reinhard, you absolutely correct. Guinness folks rejected authorizing a similiar record for a 40-foot, Battery-Electric Transit Bus this summer (shame on them): –> The Antelope Valley Transit achieved >240 miles (384 Km) PER CHARGE (on a 324 kWh battery), with a FULLY loaded eBus in hot August 2014 and with FULL AC on and traveled 749 miles in a 24-hour period (with about 3 charges).
      –> A 60-Foot, Articulated Battery Electric Bus is heading for Altoona tracks for testing next quarter that will go even farther (the battery is similiar to ETA150, a 547 kWh battery).


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