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Patrick-Murray Administration Introduces New Diesel-Electric Commuter Rail Locomotives

Posted on February 7, 2011

BOSTON – Monday, February 7, 2011 – As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s focus on the whole Commonwealth and commitment to improving customer service in transportation, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined commuter rail riders and MassDOT and MBTA transportation officials on an inaugural ride from Worcester to Boston aboard a new commuter rail locomotive.

The state-of-the-art diesel-electric locomotive is one of two purchased from the Utah Transit Authority at a cost of $7 million and marks the first time in over two decades that new locomotives will join the MBTA’s commuter rail fleet.   In addition, in June 2010, the MassDOT Board of Directors approved the purchase of an additional 20 new locomotives from Motive Power, Inc. of Boise, Idaho at a cost of $114 million. The additional 20 new locomotives will be brought into service in 2013 and replace the 20 oldest and least reliable units in the fleet.

“We are making efficient, strategic transportation investments that focus on the needs of customers who depend on the rail system to get to work each day,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

“A dependable transit system is vital to our entire region,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “These new locomotives are both more fuel efficient and more reliable, improving on-time performance for the benefit of our customers.” 
The two new locomotives new engines burn less fuel and emit lower levels of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons.

It is estimated that the MBTA will save approximately $78,000 annually per locomotive, as the new engines burn 36,500 fewer gallons of fuel each year.

Employing new technology that makes the engines more fuel efficient and prevents unnecessary idling, the new locomotives reduce nitrogen oxide levels by 38 1/2 tons per engine annually.

"Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray have a proven commitment to improving the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure after years of neglect, and these first new locomotives in more than 20 years are a great example of that commitment,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan.

“The addition of new locomotives to the fleet brings immediate benefits to our customers and the environment,” said MBTA General Manager Richard Davey.  “Improved on time performance, energy efficiency, and an overall improvement to the customer’s commuting experience are all positives to be applauded.”

The MBTA commuter rail fleet is operated under a contract with MBCR, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company.  The fleet consists of 410 coaches including 140 bi-level and 270 single coaches, and 80 locomotives.  The fleet ranges in age from seven to 29 years.  Commuter rail service carries approximately 148,000 customers round-trip each weekday.

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