N.J. Transit Buys New Dual-Powered Locomotives

NEWARK, N.J. — N.J. Transit took another step forward in the modernization of its rail fleet, as the Board of Directors approved the purchase of 26 dual-powered locomotives to replace its aging diesel fleet.The Board awarded a contract to Bombardier Transit Corporation for the purchase of 26 dual-powered locomotives — which can operate in both electrified and non-electrified territory — at a total cost of approximately $310 million, including design, engineering, manufacturing, training and spare parts, with the option to purchase additional locomotives in the future.

“With gas prices over $4 a gallon and climbing, New Jersey commuters are flocking to mass transit at a record pace,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “Our continued expansions and improvements to N.J. Transit will go a long way to providing better services for riders who are helping the environment and their wallets by leaving their cars at home.”

“Once we create new trans-Hudson capacity with the completion of the ARC Tunnel, our new fleet of dual-powered locomotives will enable us to provide a ‘one-seat’ — or transfer-free — commute for thousands of customers who today must transfer between trains,” said N.J. Transit Executive Director Richard Sarles. “More immediately, the new locomotives will have the benefit of being quieter, more fuel efficient and more environmentally-friendly than the locomotives they’ll replace, some of which are 40 years old.”

Benefits of the dual-powered locomotives over the older diesel engines include better acceleration, more efficient operation than current diesel locomotives, cleaner operation in electric mode, and reduced reliance on diesel fuel. The new locomotives will meet the latest federal emissions requirements, replacing the older locomotives that were grandfathered from having to meet the current standards.

N.J. Transit uses diesel locomotives to operate rail service in non-electrified territories, which includes the Pascack Valley, Main/Bergen County and Raritan Valley lines, as well the North Jersey Coast Line between Long Branch and Bay Head and Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex lines west of Dover. Nearly 40 percent of the state’s commuter rail system is non-electrified.

The first dual-powered locomotives are expected to arrive in 2011, with complete delivery anticipated in late 2012.