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Rail News: Passenger Rail

South Florida RTA obtains funds to continue DMU testing


The Florida Department of Transportation and South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) recently obtained a $4.9 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to continue a self-propelled passenger-rail car demonstration project between Miami and West Palm Beach.

Rather than being powered by a locomotive, a self-propelled diesel-multiple unit (DMU) features diesel truck-sized engines located in the same rail car as the cab compartment and passenger seating.

SFRTA currently is conducting a DMU test. Test results have shown that in a typical 60-mile round trip, the DMU will use half a gallon of fuel per mile compared with a locomotive, which consumes two to three gallons per mile, according to a prepared statement. The DMU also generates less noise and produces fewer emissions compared with a locomotive.

The grant will help SFRTA purchase another train set to evaluate the equipment during regularly scheduled revenue service, and assess service reliability and maintainability. The Florida DOT is providing matching funds for the demonstration, which is scheduled to last another two years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/15/2004