Rail Vehicles

Introducing new rail transit service is an important component of the Eastern Corridor’s vision of an integrated, multi-modal transportation network. Rail provides a comfortable, environmentally-friendly option for those who cannot or prefer not to drive.

The rail vehicle is probably the most visible element associated with a rail system. dmu9

While the specific vehicles remain under consideration, the Partners have determined that trains powered by modern, low-noise, low-emission diesel-multiple unit (DMU) technology best match the service characteristics and needs of the Oasis rail corridor and the communities the line would serve, and have recommended using them on the line.

Specifically designed for local and regional service, DMU rail vehicles are:

  • Self-propelled and efficient; the train can move back and forth on its own without the need for a locomotive
  • Quiet and comfortable
  • Sleek, modern and attractive
  • Do not require overhead electric lines or electrified tracks with results in significant cost savings
  • Proven in service throughout the United States

Unlike heavier locomotives pulling passenger coaches, DMU vehicles provide their own power through highly-efficient, low-emission engines within the vehicles. No overhead electrical system is required, reducing initial capital costs and facilitating joint-use with freight operations on those segments where freight still operates and during defined operating windows.

DMU passenger rail technology is constantly evolving.

DMU passenger rail technology is constantly evolving.

These vehicles offer fuel efficiency, fast acceleration, simplified maintenance, and reduced staffing over conventional commuter rail services – just a single vehicle operator is required.

DMU vehicles are quieter than conventional locomotive-powered passenger trains or freight trains, which minimizes noise impacts on properties adjacent to the rail corridor. Moreover, their design and construction act to reduce noise levels for passengers as well.

Passengers enjoy easy boarding and comfortable seating on DMU vehicles. The rail cars are fully ADA-compliant and can feature overhead storage, tie-downs for bicycles, and other amenities such as onboard Wi-Fi.

The sleek, modern design and expansive windows offered by DMU vehicles provide an appealing transportation option that links the communities they serve. Future branding will determine an appropriate name and design for the Oasis Rail Transit service.



DMU trains use self-propelled units or train sets (that is, no separate locomotives).

DMU vehicles being considered for the Oasis line are operating throughout the United States and Canada, with more service currently under design and construction. Rail service examples similar to the planned Oasis line include:

  • Sprinter (North County Transit District, Oceanside, CA): Service between Oceanside and Escondido, California. Click here to download a video about the Sprinter Train (23mb)
  • Westside Express Service (WES) (TriMet): Service between Wilsonville and Beaverton, Oregon (Metro Portland region)
  • River Line (New Jersey Transit): Service between Camden and Trenton, New Jersey.
  • A Train (Denton County Transportation Authority): Service between Denton and Carrollton, Texas
  • Capitol MetroRail (Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority): Service between Austin and Leander, Texas.
  • O-Train (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada): Service between the Bayview and Greenboro stations
  • Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (under development): Will ultimately provide service between Larkspur (San Francisco Bay Area, Marin County) and Cloverdale, 70 miles north in Sonoma County.

    DMU trains typically consist of one to three units per train set.

    DMU trains typically consist of one to three units per train set.

DMUs in Operation

Following are several videos of DMU vehicles in operation:

MetroRail – Austin, TX (6 minutes 44 seconds)
Dallas Area Rapid Transit Light Rail – Denton County, TX (46 seconds)
Stadler GTW 2/6 DMU – Denton County, TX (1 minute 46 seconds)
Denton County Transportation Authority – Stadler GTW DMU (3 minutes, 57 seconds)
Sprinter – San Diego, CA (4 minutes, 8 seconds)