Caltrans’ Amtrak California Locomotives to Exceed U.S. EPA Standards

Caltrans’ intercity passenger rail program is the first in the nation to start converting its fleet of locomotives to emission-control standards that exceed current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.

Nearly $190 million will modernize locomotives, renovate existing cars and purchase new equipment by 2015, thanks to four grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009. The retrofitted locomotives will operate on the San Joaquin and Capitol Corridor routes.

“These new environmentally-sensitive locomotives will not only protect California’s natural beauty, but will also encourage more Californians to consider passenger rail as a reliable, clean transportation alternative,” said Acting Caltrans Director  Malcolm Dougherty.

The project will retrofit the current 3,200 horse power engines with emission-control equipment. The new EPA 710 EOC Repower engine upgrade is equipped with an automatic engine start/stop system to reduce fuel and oil usage by eliminating idling time and emissions. Smog-forming emissions will be reduced by 43 percent, hydrocarbon emissions by 84 percent and toxic diesel particulate emissions by 78 percent.