Metra could benefit from Volkswagen settlement

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
One of Metra's 41-year-old F40PH-3 locomotives makes a smoky departure from the Glen of North Glenview station in October 2017.
TRAINS: David Lassen

CHICAGO — Metra could be a major beneficiary of Volkwagen’s settlement for rigging its diesel vehicles with software that allowed cars to pass emission rules in the lab, then violate those rules on the road.

The state of Illinois will receive $108 million as its part of the $14.7 billion settlement, the Chicago Tribune reports, and up to 65 percent is earmarked for repowering or replacing “off-road vehicles,” such as locomotives.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will distribute the funds. The agency’s director, Alec Messina, says the IEPA has met with Metra, but the commuter railroad has yet to apply for funding.

“I think [Metra] is a wonderful opportunity for significant emission reductions in a part of the state that absolutely needs these improvements in air quality,” Messina told the Tribune.

Metra’s aging road locomotive fleet — which includes engines built as early as 1977 (although subsequently rebuilt) and nothing newer than 15 years old — are notorious for their fuel consumption and pollution. The commuter railroad has moved to address the problem with the planned purchase of newer, more efficient locomotives that are about to become surplus to Amtrak operations on the West Coast, but they will only replace part of the current fleet.

Critics of the Illinois plan say there was not enough public input, and that the state is doing less to address electric vehicle technology and infrastructure than most of its counterparts. The full Tribune report is available here.    

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

  • Previous Day
  • May 11, 2018
  • Next Day
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.
Winter on the Rails

Winter on the Rails

Railroading to the arctic.


Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today