Now arriving: 40 new low-emissions locos for commuter-rail system

There’s a new train on the block, engine, actually, and it’s clean as well as lean.

The locomotive? A Progress Rail Services product; an EMD F125 diesel, which was first introduced in Los Angeles, California on Jul. 18, 2016.

What makes this model unique is that this first-of-its-kind diesel locomotive is designed to meet stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 air emissions requirements and it is geared for higher-speed operation. So, for this diesel, intended for rail passenger service, it is as much about its ability to run at faster speeds as it is about its air-friendliness quality coupled with better performance fuel-efficiency-wise.

As described in the company’s Jul. 18, 2016 “Progress Rail Unveils First EMD F125 Passenger Locomotive” press release, Progress Rail Services announced: “Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company, has released its first EMD F125 passenger locomotive, produced at its Muncie, Indiana facility, to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s (SCRRA) commuter rail line, Metrolink.”

This was previously written about in the Air Quality Matters post: “Rail authority procures 20 low-emissions locos with a 2015-’16 delivery schedule.”

The Sept. 3, 2015 post opened as follows: “The 512-mile Metrolink system providing passenger-rail services in several southern California counties – Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura – has embarked on a program to upgrade and modernize its fleet of motive power by acquiring locomotives built to Tier 4 standards – the highest operating standards for diesel locomotives as it relates to prime mover (engine) performance in general, and in regard to emissions control and fuel efficiency, specifically.”

“Furthermore, noted Progress Rail Services Corporation, ‘[t]he F125 includes an SCR-only after-treatment system to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. Equipped with an electronic fuel injection system, a Cat® C175 series diesel engine provides exceptional train acceleration advantages, compared to other less powerful locomotive products or older technologies, while maintaining Tier 4 emissions performance.’ EMD is an acronym for Electro-Motive Diesel while SCR stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction,” as further explained in the “Rail authority procures 20 low-emissions locos with a 2015-’16 delivery schedule,” post.

Now, updated information released provides new details.

“The new diesel-electric locomotive, which meets U.S. EPA Tier 4 standards, is the first of 40 125 mph passenger locomotives to be sold to Metrolink and delivered in the world,” Progress Rail Services in the Jul. 18, 2016 press release stated. Nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions in these new locomotives will be reduced by as much as 85 percent, that is, compared to the aging fleet of Metrolink railway engines these new models are to replace. Engine reliability is said to also be improved, according to Progress Rail Services in the same release.

“Funding has been provided through the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) Carl Moyer Program and the State of California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). The remaining budget will be accounted for through a combination of Metrolink member agency contributions and other subsidies,” Progress Rail Services related.

These engines are rated at 4,700 horsepower each.

More information can be found here and here.

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