Metra Eyes ‘Green’ Switchers

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Following a January order for up to 500 new multi-level commuter cars, the Metra Board has approved a plan to procure seven low-emission switchers for yard service.

Following a January order for up to 500 new multi-level commuter cars, the Metra Board has approved a plan to procure seven low-emission switchers for yard service.

Metra will issue an RFP for new low-emission switchers, including the Chicago commuter rail agency’s first zero-emission, electric-powered unit.

The Metra Board of Directors has approved the plan seeking to procure six switchers that, at minimum, meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier IV standards, plus one zero-emission switcher. The seven new units will replace locomotives that entered service between 50 and 82 years ago, according to Metra.

The move “represents a significant step forward in Metra’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint by reducing diesel emissions and meeting the highest federal emission standards,” the agency reported.

Metra CEO/Executive Director James M. Derwinski

“At Metra, we’ve always prided ourselves on providing our customers with safe and reliable service that’s good for the environment,” Metra CEO/Executive Director James M. Derwinski said. “Now with funding provided through the State of Illinois bond program, we’re taking advantage of the latest technology to do even more to reduce pollution in northeast Illinois.”

In January, the Board approved the purchase of up to 500 multi-level commuter railcars from Alstom to replace aging bi-level gallery cars.

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