Metrolink's board has authorized the agency to acquire 10 Tier 4-compliant locomotive engines, with an option to purchase up to 10 more, under a contract with Electro-Motive Diesel Inc.
The contract is contingent upon securing funds, Metrolink officials said in a prepared statement. The agency has allocated $129.4 million for the purchase.
"This is a significant milestone in Metrolink's efforts to operate the most efficient and environmentally friendly commuter-rail system in the nation," said Chairman Richard Katz.
Designed to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 emission standard, the locomotive engines are expected to reduce emissions by 86 percent, Metrolink officials said. The locomotive upgrades will increase horsepower.
The first three demonstration locomotives with the engines are scheduled to be completed in fall 2015.
The board's Dec. 14 decision also committed Metrolink to testing alternative fuel sources in future operations. The agency will make the first locomotives replaced by the Tier 4 engine-equipped locomotives available to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for experimentation with alternative fuel technologies expected to be available commercially in the next 10 years. The technologies include liquefied natural gas and battery technology, Metrolink officials said.
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