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Connecticut agency approves funds for commuter locomotives, stations

By | December 22, 2021

Dual-power locomotives will replace Metro-North diesels

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Logo for MTA Metro-North RailroadHARTFORD, Conn. — Funding for new locomotives and two new stations is included in $839 million in transportation projects approved Tuesday by Connecticut’s State Bond Commission, the Hartford Courant reports.

The commission unanimously approved the set of 58 transportation projects. Included are $280 million for new dual-power locomotives to replace aging diesels used on some Metro-North Railroad branch lines, which will enable new express service to New York City. A release from the office of Gov. Ned Lamont and the bond commission agenda do not indicate the number of locomotives involved or other details of the planned purchase.

The stations receiving funding are in Derby-Shelton, where $12 million will match an already-approved federal grant, and Enfield, where $35 million is for a pending federal match.

8 thoughts on “Connecticut agency approves funds for commuter locomotives, stations

  1. I thought ConnDOT was also in the market for commuter coaches and cab cars for the Hartford Line. Right now those trains operate with hand-me-down eq of retired MBTA cars that do not have ADA-compliant bathrooms. Wonder how that procurement is going. As a side note MassDOT is charging ConnDOT lease $$$ for those cars even though they were taken from a fleet of retired cars whose next stop was the scrapper. I don’t know the terms of that lease and what the dollar amount is. But the fact that MassDOT didn’t see fit to see itself as a stakeholder in the Hartford Line (ConnDOT has 3 round trips to/from Springfield) speaks volumes.

    1. You want ADA bathrooms? Try Delta Airlines’ newest jets. I thought it was a tiny storage unit for the flight attendant’s sample oxygen mask, until I saw the sign on the door “lavatory”.

  2. Wikipedia says this:

    Connecticut plans to buy new equipment for the Hartford Line as a bulk purchase with Metro-North Railroad’s Danbury and Waterbury branches after about five years of operation,[23] although replacing the leased equipment with the current Shore Line East Mafersa coaches that will be displaced by the Kawasaki M8s remains an option.[24]

    The numbers are links to news articles. Five years of operation would be in 2023.

  3. For any interested in why ConnDOT was searching for cars a year or maybe two years ahead of the planned startup of service in the Spring of 2018, this is what I read and if any readers have conflicting or additional information, please share. ConnDOT tailored the original order for M8 EMUs so there would be enough for the re-equipping of the New Haven Line and Shore Line East. The SLE push-pull eq were then to be deployed on the Hartford Line. Then two things happened. Ridership increased to unprecedented levels between New Haven and Stamford and to meet the demand, 30 minute service was implemented New Haven-Grand Central. That used up all the cars that were earmarked for Shore Line East. But even had that not happened, Amtrak was dragging its feet on commitments to install catenary over the sidings put down at some of the SLE stations in order to allow overtakes by NEC trains. Whether pre-deployment testing of M8s between New Haven and Old Saybrook/New London ever took place I do not know.

  4. From the agenda: $280 million to procure dual-power locomotives to replace aging diesel locomotives. The new dual-power locomotives will enable electric train service where overhead wire is available and enable new express train service to New York City.

    Do they think they’re running into Penn Station?

    1. Finally with this proposal they can use the catenary on the Shore Line. Having observed that only Amtrak using electric locomotives and all Connecticut locals using Diesel locomotives its the right choice to use dual powe.

  5. Interesting.

    To run from off-wire to GCT you really need diesel, 60 Hz AC and DC from underrunning 3rd rail. You could delete the 60 Hz AC and run diesel under wire but that would not be carbon-neutral.

    To Penn Station via Hell Gate now you need diesel, 60 Hz AC and 25 Hz AC. If MNR extends LIRR’s overrunning 3rd rail (different from GCT’s underrunning 3rd rail) to “GATE” you could use diesel, 60 Hz AC and DC from overrunning 3rd rail. Same comment on diesel under wire.

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