United States: Metra unveils a new addition to its locomotive fleet

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Chicago rail operator Metra has unveiled the latest addition to its locomotive fleet; a refurbished EMD SD70MAC.

Now designated 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 was also painted in the heritage colors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to celebrate the authority’s 50th anniversary.

Metra’s refurbished SD70MACH locomotive

© Metra

Metra signed a contract worth 70.9 million USD (72.63 million EUR) for the purchase of 15 reconditioned locomotives from Progress Rail in January 2019.

Metra chose reconditioned models over new vehicles primarily because it would allow the operator to replace more of its older locomotives.

Rebuilt locomotives meet US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 3 emissions standards. This means that replacing 42 of its current Tier 0+ locomotives will allow Metra to eliminate 61 tonnes of nitrous oxide emissions each year.

Other advantages include the locomotives’ AC traction motors, which are much more durable and reliable than the DC traction motors of Metra’s older locomotives. The new motors offer a 34% increase in power and microprocessor-controlled braking systems.

The new additions are also similar in 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 programs.

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

“We are delighted to present this new locomotive for My Metra users.

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

The remaining locomotives will be delivered approximately once a month, with an option available to purchase an additional 27 locomotives on demand.

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