Metrolink To Buy Tier 4 Locomotives

The board of directors of Southern California’s Metrolink has authorized the agency to enter into a contract to obtain new low-emission Tier 4 locomotives.

The contract includes a base order of 10 locomotives, plus an option to purchase up to 10 additional locomotives. Metrolink has allocated $129.4 million for the purchase of the locomotives.

The procurement of the locomotives and the contract with Electro-Motive Diesel are contingent upon the securing of project funds, the commuter rail agency said. The Dec. 14 board decision is just the latest step in a lengthy process.

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

“This is a significant milestone in Metrolink’s efforts to operate the most efficient and environmentally friendly commuter rail system in the nation,” said Board Chair Richard Katz in a written statement. “It demonstrates our commitment to our neighbors and to doing our part to clean up the air in Southern California.”

The board’s decision also committed the agency to the testing of alternative fuel sources in the future. Metrolink will make the first locomotives replaced by the new Tier 4 locomotives available to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for experiments with alternatives such as batteries and liquefied natural gas.