New Jersey Transit said Tuesday it will advance a “cost-effective” maintenance program instead of overhauling its diesel locomotive fleet, authorizing $3.4 million (plus a 5% contingency) to a program to detect problems using customized diagnostic tools, and tapping an Alstom subsidiary for the task.
NJT in 2008 entered into a contract with Alstom Transportation Inc. Train Line Services (TLS), based in Naperville, Ill., to develop technical specifications for overhauling GP-40 and F-40 series locomotives, “and to develop and implement a formal Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM) program for the entire diesel locomotive fleet, which includes the Alstom-manufactured PL42AC.”
NJT committed $3.5 million to this task, with the $3.4 million approved Tuesday bringing its overall authorization to roughly $6.9 million. NJT says its fleet includes 105 PL42AC, GP040, and F-40 series locomotives, many of them more than 20 years old.
Alstom/TLS performed “a teardown and re-build of two NJ Transit locomotives” to evaluate the fleet’s condition and determined that “complete overhauls of the diesel fleet are not necessary,” NJT said in an agenda statement Tuesday. In response, NJT approved a contract amendment authorizing Alstom/TLS “to extend support services for a period of one year in order to give NJ Transit staff the necessary time to prepare a Request for Proposal fo ra three-year Condition-Based Maintenance program, while allowing the current program to continue uninterrupted.”
Said Rich Sarles, NJ Transit’s executive director, “You can address the problem before you have a breakdown” under the new program. Full rehabilitation could cost the agency about $3 million per locomotive, Sarles said. NJT expects to fund the program through the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.