February 7, 2011

MBTA unveils new commuter rail locomotive


It is estimated that the MBTA will save approximately $78,000 annually per locomotive, as the new engines burn 36,500 fewer gallons of fuel each year. Photo courtesy MBTA


The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) unveiled its new rail locomotive Monday — marking the first time in over two decades that a new locomotive will join the commuter rail fleet.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray joined commuter rail riders and MassDOT and MBTA transportation officials on an inaugural ride from Worcester to Boston aboard the new locomotive.

The state-of-the-art diesel-electric locomotive is one of two purchased from the Utah Transit Authority at a cost of $7 million.

In addition, in June 2010, the MassDOT board of directors approved the purchase of an additional 20 new locomotives from Motive Power Inc. of Boise, Idaho, at a cost of $114 million. The additional 20 new locomotives will be brought into service in 2013 and replace the 20 oldest and least reliable units in the fleet.

The two new locomotives new engines burn less fuel and emit lower levels of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons.

It is estimated that the MBTA will save approximately $78,000 annually per locomotive, as the new engines burn 36,500 fewer gallons of fuel each year.

Employing new technology that makes the engines more fuel efficient and prevents unnecessary idling, the new locomotives reduce nitrogen oxide levels by 38 1/2 tons per engine annually.

“The addition of new locomotives to the fleet brings immediate benefits to our customers and the environment,” said MBTA GM Richard Davey. “Improved on time performance, energy efficiency, and an overall improvement to the customer’s commuting experience are all positives to be applauded.”

The MBTA commuter rail fleet is operated under a contract with MBCR, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. The fleet consists of 410 coaches including 140 bi-level and 270 single coaches, as well as 80 locomotives. The fleet ranges in age from seven to 29 years. Commuter rail service carries approximately 148,000 customers round-trip each weekday.

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