MTA Orders 25 Hybrid Locomotives From Wabtec for $233MM

Written by Andrew Corselli
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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board recently awarded a $233 million contract to Wabtec for 25 electric-diesel hybrid locomotives for use on NYC Transit work trains as part of the agency’s "ongoing efforts to improve environmental sustainability and health and safety for employees and customers."

The 25 hybrid locomotives will be delivered in approximately five years, with the first two locomotives arriving within 38 months. The engine will be a Cummins engine—QSX15 Tier 4 Final, rated at 675 horsepower. Funding for the hybrids will come from the MTA’s 2015-2019 Capital Program. The option for up to 45 additional hybrid locomotives, if exercised, will be funded by the 2020–2024 Capital Program.

The MotivePower Inc. R255 locomotives and the GE propulsion batteries for this contract will be manufactured in Erie, Penn.

Officials from NYC Transit determined that an electric-diesel hybrid locomotive is the best approach for reducing—and under some circumstances eliminating—fuel emissions during subway construction, maintenance and repairs, especially during extended periods at a work site. The locomotives will have the capability to work in an all-electric “battery only” mode within confined work zones for up to eight hours, and will be used to move work trains that must operate at job sites where third rail power is often removed for safety.

The electric-diesel hybrid propulsion in the new locomotives will “be configured to optimize battery usage and minimize diesel emissions, while also providing the power and capacity required for any job in the NYC Transit operating environment.” The new hybrids will replace diesel-only locomotives built between 1966 and 1977.

The locomotives will also be equipped with external and internal cameras and a digital video recorder to capture images of the track, wayside and signals along the length of the track, as well as enhanced on-board monitoring and diagnostics systems that can help technicians maintain and repair the locomotives.

“These new hybrid locomotives will bring two huge benefits to our employees, customers and all New Yorkers,” said NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. “They will mean cleaner air in the subway system while we do work on the tracks, and less fuel consumption in our system overall. We are in an incredibly challenged time fiscally, but the health of our employees and customers is too important to delay retiring inefficient old equipment.”

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