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Rail News: Mechanical

Metrolink picks up additional funds for new low-emission locomotives


The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) late last week approved $17 million in funding to help Metrolink purchase three low-emission Tier 4 locomotives.

The dollars come from the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program, which the California State Legislature reauthorized last fall, according to a Metrolink press release.

In early 2013, the South Coast Air Quality Management District granted $34.66 million in Carl Moyer funds to Metrolink to help the commuter-rail agency buy 17 Tier 4 locomotives.

Also, on Jan. 29, the California Transportation Commission voted to allocate $8.5 million in Proposition 1A high-speed rail formula connectivity funds to Metrolink for the procurement of the 20 Tier 4 locomotives.

The new locomotives are designed to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 85 percent compared with current Tier 0 locomotive engines, Metrolink officials said.

The new locomotives will feature higher-powered engines with 31 percent to 57 percent more horsepower, allowing greater flexibility in scheduling service, they said.

"Modernizing Metrolink's locomotive fleet is a tremendous achievement for clean air in Southern California, and we are proud to say that we will be the nation's first commuter-rail system to employ Tier 4 locomotives," said Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Michael DePallo. "Ultimately it is the people of the region and Metrolink riders that will benefit from these more powerful, efficient and cleaner burning engines."

The total procurement cost is nearly $150 million. The new Tier 4 locomotives are expected to be delivered and put into service in 2016 and 2017.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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