Coaster commuter trains to add Charger locomotives

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A Siemens Charger locomotive leads an Amtrak Cascades train over the Chambers Bay bridge in Steilacoom, Wash., on June 26, 2018. The agency which operates the San Diego-area Coaster commuter trains is buying five new Chargers.
TRAINS: David Lassen

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The North County Transit District, which operates Coaster commuter trains in the San Diego area, will purchase five new Siemens Charger locomotives.

The purchase was approved at the district’s June board meeting. Slated for delivery beginning in March 2021, the locomotives will allow for 36 trips to be added to the Coaster schedule — six on each weekday, three on Saturday, and three on Sunday.

The $57 million order will be paid for with funds from the state’s Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, along with $10 million in grant funds from the Air Pollution Control District. The new locomotives are estimated to reduce emissions by 90 percent and fuel consumption by 16 percent, compared to the current locomotive fleet.

Previous Charger buyers include several state-supported Amtrak operations, Florida’s Brightline, Maryland’s MARC, and the Philadelphia-area SEPTA commuter system. Another California commuter service, Altamont Corridor Express, ordered four Chargers earlier this year. [See "Altamont Corridor Express orders Charger locomotives," Trains News Wire, April 26, 2018.]

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