State allocates $60 million to Metrolink to upgrade locomotives and cab cars

Here’s the news release from Metrolink:

Los Angeles- At its August 22 meeting, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) allocated $60 million in Proposition 1 A bond funds to help pay for much-needed upgrades to Metrolink’s fleet of locomotives and coach cars. This program will allow Metrolink to upgrade between 21 and 30 locomotives and 44-55 passenger cars either by purchasing new equipment or rehabilitating existing equipment. Their mechanical and communications systems will be overhauled and new seats and flooring will be installed. Luggage racks, more bike racks and higher powered HVAC systems are planned to be added to accommodate longer trips anticipated as part of the High Speed Rail project.

“These funds will allow Metrolink to serve the region better in many ways. We can move more people, will be more environmentally-friendly and will have fewer delays caused by older equipment,” said Metrolink Board Chair Richard Katz. “This is the biggest capacity-adding project in the agency’s history. It would not be possible without these funds.”

Upgrading the coach cars and locomotives is expected to add at least 15 years to their operational lives. The locomotive upgrade offers numerous benefits to the region including:

Ability to move more people – Higher horsepower locomotives will allow Metrolink to add more cars to existing train sets and increase the number of people moved. This is critical as the High Speed Rail project is projected to add thousands of passengers to the Metrolink System.

Reduced emissions – Upgrading locomotives will reduce emissions due to the cleaner burning engines. Metrolink is also currently soliciting bids to upgrade locomotives to Tier 4 pending board approval, which can reduce emissions by up to 86 percent.

More reliable service – Upgraded locomotives equate to less delays due to mechanical breakdowns. This is a win for Metrolink passengers.

More jobs – The entire investment is projected to support up to 3,160 jobs.

“We appreciate the leadership of the California Transportation Commission, the Legislature and the Governor for appropriating these funds in the state budget. This investment will allow Metrolink to proceed with this critical project and bring tangible benefits to the Southern California region,” said Katz.


Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 19th year of operation. The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority made up of an 11-member board representing the transportation commissions of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, governs the service. Metrolink operates over seven routes through a six-county, 512 route-mile network. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the seventh largest based on annual ridership.