REGION — The North County Transit District announced today that it will purchase five new locomotives at a cost of more than $37 million to replace aging trains “at the end of their useful life.”
Funding will come from Senate Bill 1, commonly known as the gas tax, as well as grants from the Air Pollution Control District.
The new locomotives are estimated to require 16 percent less fuel and produce 90 percent fewer emissions than the engines they will replace, all built between 1975-1992.
“These new locomotives will help support our mission to provide reliable public transportation to passengers throughout San Diego County,” said county Supervisor Bill Horn, also a transit district board member. “In addition to increased reliability, they will also incorporate new technologies that reduce emissions and will improve air quality in the region.”
The district will purchase the diesel-electric Siemens Charger locomotives as part of a multistate procurement with the California and Illinois departments of transportation. The joint agreement reduces overall order costs, according to the district.
The first train will likely be delivered March 2021, and the last vehicle in June of that year. The engines will likely be put in service three to six months after delivery.
Once the locomotives are received, the district is slated to add 36 additional Coaster trips each week to the current schedule: six on each weekday, three on Saturday and three on Sunday.