Metra awards contract to 'modernize' railcar fleet

Posted on February 18, 2015

Douglas Rahden
Douglas Rahden

The Chicago Metra board of directors approved one of the first components of the agency’s ambitious plan to modernize its rolling stock, authorizing a $91.1 million contract to rehabilitate 41 locomotives.

The contract to renovate to engines to “like new” condition was awarded to Progress Rail Services Corp. of Patterson, Ga. The work covers 41 EMD Model F40PH-2 and F40PHM-2 locomotives that were originally built between 1989 and 1992.

The $2.4 billion, 10-year modernization plan, announced last fall, is the first long-term rolling stock plan in Metra history. It calls for renovating 455 cars and 85 locomotives, including the 41 in this contract, and purchasing 367 new cars and 52 new locomotives, which will renew a fleet where more than 40% of the cars date from the Eisenhower administration to the Reagan administration.

The plan also will cover Metra’s costs to install the federally mandated positive train control (PTC) safety system.

The rehabilitated locomotives will feature a new high-voltage cabinet with a microprocessor control system; remanufactured engines upgraded to U.S. EPA Tier 0+ emissions standards; new and reconditioned accessories; car body corrosion repair and new paint; rebuilt electrical rotating equipment; rebuilt trucks with new wheels; and Positive Train Control components.

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