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Rail News: Amtrak

North Carolina DOT readies rebuilt locomotives for passenger service

North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper christens the 'City of Kannapolis' locomotive.
Photo – NCDOT


North Carolina state and local officials on Tuesday christened two rebuilt locomotives for use on Amtrak's daily Piedmont service.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), which operates the service with Amtrak, names its locomotives for cities along the Raleigh-to-Charlotte corridor. The two rehabbed locomotives were dubbed the "Town of Cary" and the "City of Kannapolis."

Both locomotives originally were built in 1990 for Toronto's GO Transit system. As part of NCDOT's Piedmont improvement program, each unit was rebuilt mechanically and electrically.

In addition, the Kannapolis locomotive's 3,000 horsepower engine was upgraded to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 0+ emission standards, NCDOT officials said in a press release.

Purchasing and rebuilding the locomotives cost $2.15 million each. That compares to the $6 million to $7 million cost of buying a new locomotive.

Through the Piedmont improvement program, NCDOT is investing more than $500 million in rail improvements between Raleigh and Charlotte. The program also provided funds for a modernization and expansion to the Cary Depot's passenger information system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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