Metrolink’s first Tier 4 clean locomotive debuts

Here is the news release from Metrolink, which is funded in part by Metro:

A $300 million investment for new locomotives will reduce emissions by up to 85% and result in more reliable train service for SoCal commuters

LOS ANGELES – State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León joined local, state and federal officials and leaders from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Metrolink for the first clean powered ride on a train pulled by Metrolink’s new Tier 4 locomotives, the cleanest, most powerful and safest diesel engines of any major commuter rail agency in the nation.

Officials took a short inaugural ride on a Metrolink train powered by a new Tier 4 locomotive. The first of 40 of these clean diesel locomotives will begin revenue service later this month.

Purchased at a cost of approximately $280 million including a grant of $111 million from SCAQMD, the Tier 4 locomotive fleet is Metrolink’s next generation of train engines and represents a major advance for improving the region’s air quality.

Tier 4 locomotives will reduce PM and NOx emissions by up to 85 percent over standard diesel engines. When all 40 of these Tier 4 locomotives are in service it will be equivalent to reducing the annual emissions of 31,320 vehicles.

The locomotives are more fuel efficient (eight percent compared to Tier 0), more powerful (64 percent more horsepower) and safer. They’re equipped with Positive Train Control and crash management system absorbing energy in the event of a collision to protect passengers.

Since June 1, 2017, Metrolink’s first Tier 4 locomotives have undergone rigorous testing and certification per Federal Railroad Administration requirements. The inaugural ride kicked off a regional tour with various stops planned at community events before the engines are put into revenue service later this month.

For more information about the Tier 4 locomotives, click here.


Metrolink is Southern California’s regional commuter rail service in its 24th year of operation. Metrolink is governed by 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. Metrolink operates seven routes through a six-county, 538 route-mile network. Metrolink’s passengers travel approximately 441 million miles each year, making Metrolink the second busiest public transportation provider in Southern California. Metrolink is the third largest commuter rail agency in the United States based on directional route miles and the eighth largest based on annual ridership.

9 replies

  1. Are there any discussions within Metro about double tracking the single-track segments and separating commuter from freight rail tracks within LA County? Metrolink has a lot of potential but these are items that seem to impact its reliability and operating schedule.

    • Hi Dan;

      There are a few projects here and there to possibly double track some segments. Many still require some funding and the mileage of track involved isn’t huge. And as long as there are single track segments, there will be choke points because the freight railroads also use many of the tracks heavily.

      I do agree with you: double-tracks with more exclusive use by commuter railroads would be a game changer.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

      • Thanks. Perhaps that would be a better use of funds for LA Union Station to Claremont/Montclair than the Gold Line extension from Azusa to Claremont. I’ll chat with my County Sup to push for a long-term plan to double-track and separate passenger/commuter rail. And I’ll chat with my Assemblymember and State Senator to push for the legislature to prioritize (and give some funding) for it.

  2. I’m excited about the cleaner technology. Will these run on the routes to/from Oceanside?

  3. Metrolink has so much potential. If only service was frequent and reliable. *sighs* it’s too bad