US-based railroad operator Metra's first of 41 locomotives being rebuilt by Progress Rail Services has returned to service in Chicago.
Called F40PH-3, the rebuilt locomotives include a new high-voltage cabinet with a microprocessor control system, remanufactured engines upgraded to US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 0+ emissions standards.
The locomotives also feature new and reconditioned accessories, car body corrosion repair and new paint, rebuilt electrical rotating equipment, rebuilt trucks with new wheels and positive train control (PTC) machineries.
Following trials, Metra will deploy the first F40PH-3 to service on the lines operated by Union Pacific.
Renovation works are expected to extend the life of locomotives by up to 13 years.
Metra executive director and CEO Don Orseno said: “These locomotives represent our commitment to use our limited capital resources to rebuild our fleet of railcars and locomotives, which remain the oldest of any of our peer railroads.
“Our customers deserve a reliable fleet and this programme, which restores locomotives to nearly new condition, is an essential part of our agency’s modernisation plan.”
Last year, Metra awarded a $91m locomotives remanufacturing contract to Progress Rail Services as part of a modernisation plan to rebuild and replace almost all the rolling stock operating on its non-electric lines.
Contracted works were performed at Progress Rail Services’ facility in Patterson, Georgia, US.
Metra noted that 50% of its rolling stock is in marginal or damaged condition, with 18% of railcars being used from the 1950s to the 1960s.
By the end of this year, the operator plans to renovate nearly 70 railcars in-house.
Metra has further plans this year to design a $20m expansion of its main railcar rehabilitation facility in Chicago, which was built in 1947. Construction work to update the facility is expected by late-2017.
Image: Metra’s rebuilt locomotive in Chicago, US. Photo: courtesy of Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority.