Caterpillar Inc.’s Rail Division, which includes Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc. announced May 31 it has signed an agreement with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) to supply up to 20 EMD F125 low-emission Spirit series passenger locomotives for operation on Metrolink.
With this announcement, Metrolink becomes the first passenger railroad to purchase new transit locomotives designed to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 emissions standards in North America. Delivery will begin in 2015.
The EMD Spirit is compliant with the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act’s (PRIIA) 305-005 Next Generation locomotive specifications, and meets or exceeds all of Metrolink’s requirements for procuring highly-reliable, fuel-efficient locomotives for passenger rail service. The Spirit is capable of operating at speeds of up to 125 mph, enabling it to satisfy potential increased speed requirements. In addition, the locomotives reduce emissions over the current Tier 0 fleet by more than 85 percent, per the U.S. EPA’s Tier 4 emissions standards for new diesel locomotives.
“We are delighted to be working with Metrolink, a visionary agency, and now a leader in the pursuit of new, cleaner operating passenger locomotives. EMD is pleased to provide Metrolink with the first passenger locomotives designed to meet Tier 4 emissions standards, marking EMD’s re-entry into the passenger rail business. We are proud to say we are back, and excited to be on the forefront of passenger rail technology,” said Billy Ainsworth, president and CEO of Progress Rail Services and Electro-Motive Diesel. “From EMD’s first record setting Zephyr, topping 112 mph in 1934, to our latest F125 Spirit capable of speeds up to 125 mph, we will rely on the combined strengths of Caterpillar’s Rail Division including EMD and Progress Rail to mark a new era of progress in the passenger rail market.”
EMD’s high-horsepower Spirit locomotive addresses Metrolink’s future performance needs and anticipated ridership growth. The fuel-efficient locomotive will be used with Metrolink’s new Rotem Bi-Level passenger cars — also equipped with crash energy management — which will yield one of the highest levels of commuter rail passenger safety, crew safety and passenger comfort in the country.
”We are very excited to have reached this critical milestone upgrade our locomotive fleet with the latest state-of-the-art low emission technology,” said Mike DePallo, CEO of Metrolink. “Metrolink has consistently stayed on the front end of trends as it relates to both environmental and safety technologies, and we are proud to state that this acquisition of Tier 4 locomotives puts Metrolink in a leadership position among commuter rail systems across the country when it comes to sustainable operations.”
Caterpillar, Progress Rail and EMD have taken an enterprise approach to identify the optimal technology that can be applied to locomotives to achieve Tier 4 emissions standards. With the companies’ experience as a worldwide leader in locomotive technologies, EMD will offer Metrolink innovative solutions benefiting fleet performance and satisfying the need for increased capacity. Caterpillar, Progress Rail and EMD are the only OEMs to have designed and sold new locomotives designed to meet Tier 4 emissions standards.
As part of the Spirit locomotive procurement and its commitment to clean air, Metrolink will donate up to five F-59 locomotives for alternative fuels research and development programs in hopes of realizing emissions-free commuter rail operations in the future.