Introduced by Pullman-Standard as a replacement for aging commuter cars, the soon nicknamed "Comet" cars were first built between 1970 and 1973 for the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad's services out of New Jersey. Given their success with the E-L and then New Jersey Transit, the use of the Comet car quickly spread to other commuter agencies. Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority received their first cars in 1978, Metro-North and Connecticut DOT (or ConnDOT) in 1983, Philadelphia's SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) in 1987, and Montreal's AMT (Agence metropolitaine de transport) in 1989. In 2008, SEPTA and Frontrunner of Salt Lake City received original E-L/NJT Comet cars to bolster their fleets. Additionally, LA's Metrolink leased the Frontrunner cars from 2008 to 2010 due to a fleet shortage.
The original Comet cars built for the E-L were designed strictly for low platforms, but evolution of the car design by Pullman and later Bombardier evolved the Comet design to support both high- and low-platform boarding, on-board washrooms, accessible seating and, after 1990, a wide center door for high-level platform boarding.
Model features for the 2021 release -
- Controllable interior and cab car lighting
- Full underbody and interior detail
- Correct inside-bearing trucks with metal wheelsets
- Accurate painting and lettering
- Tinted windows
- Constant interior lighting in DC and DCC
- Metal side grab irons