The US’s North County Transit District (NCTD) is to acquire five new Siemens locomotives in a step to improve passenger services in San Diego County.

The new Coaster locomotives, valued collectively at around $37m, will replace the older fleet, which was originally built between 1975 and 1992.

Approved by the NCTD board, the acquisition is expected to improve operational efficiency, as well as result in a significant reduction of gas emissions and fuel consumption.

NCTD board member and county supervisor for the 5th District Bill Horn said: “These new locomotives will help support our mission to provide reliable public transportation to passengers throughout San Diego County.

“We are grateful to NCTD for this order and proud to supply these Californian built locomotives from our Sacramento facility, which currently has more than 1,300 dedicated and passionate employees.”

“In addition to increased reliability, they will also incorporate new technologies that release lower emissions and will improve air quality in the region.”

The agency will purchase the locomotives as a part of a multi-state procurement with the California and Illinois Departments of Transportation. It will be funded by the State of California thanks to the new revenues generated from the Senate Bill 1.

Siemens Rolling Stock president Michael Cahill said: “We are most grateful to NCTD for this order and extremely proud to supply these Californian built locomotives from our Sacramento facility, which currently has more than 1,300 dedicated and passionate employees.

“It’s a plant that is solar-powered, making it even more energy efficient in terms of its overall sustainability footprint.”

The locomotives are expected to be delivered between March and June 2021.

Siemens’s US facilities are associated with the production of rail vehicles, locomotives, equipment and systems to more than 25 agencies, including New York, San Francisco and Washington DC.