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The California State Transportation Agency awarded Metrolink $41 million to help fund up to nine locomotives that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 4 emission standard, the commuter-rail agency announced yesterday.The grant was funded by the state's Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program. The Tier 4-compliant locomotives are designed to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 85 percent compared with current Tier 0 locomotive engines. The locomotives' engines will generate 31 to 57 percent more horsepower, as well.Metrolink is the first commuter-rail system in the United States to procure the new Tier 4 locomotives, agency officials said in a press release."We have worked diligently to leverage various funding opportunities to bring to fruition a comprehensive locomotive fleet modernization program," said Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy in a statement. "At the federal, state, and local levels, there is a clear understanding and support for Metrolink to upgrade our current fleet to provide a more enjoyable and reliable riding experience for our passengers."Slated to begin operating in late 2016, the new locomotives are in addition to the 20 Tier 4 locomotives Metrolink ordered last year.