Metrolink to Buy Newest, Cleanest Locomotives

The Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the agency to enter into a contract to secure Tier 4 locomotives at its Dec. 14, 2012, meeting.

The revolutionary locomotives are expected to reduce emissions by 86 percent.

“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. “It demonstrates our commitment to our neighbors and to doing our part to clean up the air in Southern California.”

At this point, Metrolink is on pace to become the first in the country to achieve Tier 4 status in revenue service.

The procurement of the locomotives and the contract with Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) is contingent upon the securing of project funds, while Friday’s Board decision is the latest step of a lengthy process. The first three demonstration locomotives are scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2015.

The locomotive upgrades will have system wide benefits and help reduce emissions in the surrounding communities. In addition, these locomotives will have greater horsepower that can increase capacity by adding more train cars to a set.

The phased-approach 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 overall program will allow Metrolink to eventually secure 20 new Tier 4 locomotives. The Board’s decision also committed Metrolink to the testing of alternative fuel sources in future operations. Metrolink will make the first locomotives replaced by the new Tier 4s available to the South Coast Air Quality Management District for the purposes of experimentation with various alternative fuel technologies expected to be commercially available in the next decade.

These technologies include, but are not limited to, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and battery technology. Metrolink will continue to work collaboratively with its funding partners in this pursuit.

For additional details on Metrolink, please visit