NCTD to Acquire Siemens Charger Locomotives


Rendering of what the new locomotive may look like. Design is subject to change. Rendering: courtesy of NCDT.



The Board of Directors for San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD) has approved the purchase of five new Charger locomotives from Siemens. The contract is valued at more than $37 million. 

The locomotives will replace five older locomotives on the COASTER commuter rail line, helping NCTD to improve operational efficiency. Also, when compared to the existing engines in use, the new locomotives will reduce emissions by an estimated 90 percent and reduce fuel consumption by 16 percent. 

“These new locomotives will help support our mission to provide reliable public transportation to passengers throughout San Diego County,” stated Bill Horn, NCTD board member and 5th District county supervisor. “In addition to increased reliability, they will also incorporate new technologies that reduce emissions and will improve air quality in the region.”

The first vehicle is expected to be delivered March 2021, with the last vehicle delivered in June 2021. The locomotives are estimated to be put into service three to six months after the delivery of each vehicle.

NCTD Board Chair Rebecca Jones remarked, “Businesses and commuters throughout San Diego County benefit from the convenience and the presence of the COASTER and they will benefit even more from these updated vehicles.”

The new diesel-electric Siemens Charger locomotives are part of a multi-state procurement with the California and Illinois Departments of Transportation.