Metra F59PHIs enter revenue service

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CHICAGO – The first two of Metra's 21 former Amtrak F59PHI locomotives have entered service this week. The units, which sport modified Pacific Surfliner paint, were spotted on the Metra-owned Milwaukee District North line leading train No. 2119 for Grayslake. Other recently acquired units will featured modified Amtrak Cascades paint, but those have not yet entered revenue service.

The F59PHI is the second model Metra has purchased with EMDs 710 prime mover, following the acquisition of three F59s in 2014. The F59PHI was built between 1994 and 2001 and is the F59s successor which was built between 1988 and 1994. While both are essentially the same mechanically, the largest differences are the F59PHIs additional body panels, cab, and nose redesign to accommodate the isolated cab, giving the F59PHI a slightly longer overall length than the F59. The isolated cab design was found on many EMD freight and passenger locomotives, designed to create a quieter working environment for the operating crews.

The commuter agency paid $1.3 million each for the F59PHIs while it continues to look for additional new or rebuilt power. The agency in January issued a request for proposals for at least 12 new or 15 remanufactured locomotives with options for up to 30 additional new locomotives or 27 additional remanufactured locomotives, for a total of up to 42 new or remanufactured locomotives. That RFP is in the evaluation process.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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