US: Metra Unveils New Addition to Locomotive Fleet  

Chicago railway operator, Metra has unveiled the latest addition to its locomotive fleet; a remanufactured EMD SD70MAC.

Now designated an SD70MACH and assigned the number 500 in Metra’s numbering system, this locomotive has been reconfigured for passenger use with refurbished, upgraded or new components.

It has also been painted in heritage Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) colours to celebrate the authority’s upcoming 50th anniversary.

Metra Locomotive Fleet
Metra’s refurbished SD70MACH locomotive

Metra signed a contract worth 70.9 million USD (72.63m EUR) to purchase 15 remanufactured locomotives from Progress Rail in January 2019.

Metra chose remanufactured models over new vehicles primarily because it would enable the operator to replace a greater number of its older locomotives.

The remanufactured locomotives meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tier 3 emissions standards. This means that replacing 42 of its current tier 0+ locomotives will enable Metra to eliminate 61 tons of nitrous oxide emissions each year.

Other benefits include the locomotives’ AC traction motors, which are far more durable and reliable than the DC traction motors in Metra’s older locomotives. The new motors offer a 34% increase in horsepower and microprocessor-controlled brake systems.

The new additions also have a similar design to Metra’s F59 locomotives, so the operator will be able to use the same parts inventory and won’t need to introduce new training and maintenance programmes.

Jim Derwinski, CEO and Executive Director of Metra, said:

“We're excited to introduce this new locomotive for My Metra riders.

“This locomotive and others to follow will replace some of the oldest locomotives in our fleet, and we would expect to see a significant increase in reliability and decrease in emissions as a result.”

The remaining locomotives will be delivered roughly one a month, with an option available to purchase a further 27 locomotives on request.

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