Metrolink set to get Tier 4 locomotives

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age

Southern California's Metrolink will receive funds from the Carl Moyer Program to procure up to 20 new low-emission Tier 4 locomotives. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Governing Board committed to support Metrolink by approving the funds, which are not to exceed $34.66 million, on Friday, Feb. 1.

The Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the agency to procure up to 20 Tier 4 locomotives at its December 14, 2012 meeting at a cost that was not to exceed $129.4 million. Additional funds requested by Metrolink are contingent upon reauthorization of the Carl Moyer Program and will be considered by AQMD at a future date.

“Metrolink, as an agency, is excited and appreciative to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Board for its decision to partner with us in securing Tier 4 locomotives,” said Metrolink Board Chair and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris. “Just as AQMD is committed to protecting the health of residents through air quality control, Metrolink is dedicated to lowering regional emissions by removing vehicles from our freeways and operating the most environmentally responsible technology.”

The first three demonstration locomotives are scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2015.

The Tier 4 locomotives are expected to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 80 percent compared to current Tier 0 locomotive engines. Metrolink is the first commuter rail system in the country to procure the new Tier 4 locomotives and the investment will allow the Tier 0 locomotives removal over a three-year period. As part of this contract, Metrolink will also work with AQMD in the development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) locomotive.

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