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Metrolink Unveils First Low-Emission Locomotive

Metrolink commuter rail unveiled its first Tier 4 locomotive July 18 at Los Angeles Union Station, the beginning of a long-term plan to purchase up to 40 of the vehicles for approximately $280 million.

Metrolink was the first U.S. commuter rail agency to purchase Tier 4 locomotives, in 2013. The state-of-the-art EMD F125 locomotives are expected to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 85 percent while providing up to 57 percent more horsepower than existing locomotives.

“The Tier 4 locomotive is quite a piece of equipment,” said Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy. “We will get more horsepower, less fuel consumption and lower emissions. We could not have done this without the partnership and collaboration from our federal, state, regional and local partners.”

In addition, the locomotives are equipped with updated rail safety technologies, including PTC and crash energy management.

Shawn Nelson, chair of the Metrolink Board of Directors and an Orange County supervisor, thanked legislators, business and environmental stakeholders and the community for their support. “Upgrading our fleet with Tier 4 locomotives has taken a great deal of support and collaboration,” he said. “We could not have done this alone and we look forward to full implementation of the entire 40-locomotive fleet.”

Funding for the vehicles came from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, which approved $74.85 million over the past three years from the Carl Moyer Program and an additional $36 million to be considered in future requests, and from the state, which provided $41.2 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program and $2.7 million from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. Metrolink will cover the balance through a combination of member agency contributions and other subsidies.

Metrolink expects to introduce the first of the low-emission locomotives to service late this year, with the remainder arriving in 2017.

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which operates Metrolink, comprises five county agencies that were tasked with improving mobility throughout Southern California: transportation agencies: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura counties and San Bernardino Associated Governments. In its 20 years of service, Metrolink has grown from three service lines and 11 stations to seven lines, 59 stations and 536 route miles.

Metrolink CEO Art Leahy speaks at an event at Los Angeles Union Station to introduce the commuter rail system's first Tier 4 locomotive, designed and manufactured by Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company.

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