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Metra's older locomotives are getting a new paint job in conjunction with a major overhaul to extend their useful life.The new paint scheme will be applied to 42 F40 locomotives that were built between 1989 and 1992, and are now part of a $91.1 million rehab program, Metra officials said in a press release.The rehabilitated locomotives will feature a host of upgrades including: • new high-voltage cabinet with a microprocessor control system; • remanufactured engines upgraded to Environmental Protection Agency Tier 0+ emissions standards;• new and reconditioned accessories;• car body corrosion repair and new paint;• rebuilt electrical rotating equipment;• rebuilt trucks with new wheels; and• and positive train control components.The new paint scheme also will be applied to three similar-looking, used F59 locomotives that Metra recently acquired. The first of those three debuted this month on the commuter railroad's Milwaukee lines.The F40s are now painted mostly blue with an orange top. When they emerge from rehab over the next four years, they'll have a similar paint scheme as Metra's fleet of 27 MP36 locomotives.
The MP36 engines also are being modernized in-house at the railroad's 47th Streeet locomotive shop. That $62 million program calls for overhauling engines and replacing the existing head-end power systems, which are the parts of the locomotive that provide electricity for onboard lights, heating, air conditioning, exhaust fans and door motors. "We are excited to extend Metra's newest paint scheme to the rest of our locomotive fleet and are especially proud to complete nearly half of this work in-house at a lower cost," said Metra Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno. The work on the F40s and MP36s are part of the railroad's $2.4 billion modernization plan, which calls for renovating 455 cars and 85 locomotives, and purchasing 367 new cars and 52 new locomotives over 10 years.Meanwhile, officials from Metra and Union Pacific Railroad yesterday met with representatives from DuPage County and Lombard, Ill., to mark the completion of nearly $9.8 million in improvements at the Lombard Station along the UP West Line.The upgrades include a new pedestrian underpass, rebuilt platforms and new platform canopies. The work included an $8.1 million contract with John Burns Construction of Orland Park, Ill., for the new pedestrian tunnel, retaining walls, ramps that comply with the Americans with Disability Act, platform shelters, canopies over both inbound and outbound platforms, landscaping and other ancillary items for the station.That contract received financial backing from a variety of sources, including Metra, which provided $3.8 million, and UP which chipped in $3.3 million.
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