Amtrak announced that 14 new Siemens Charger locomotives are now operational on the Pacific Surfliner route between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.
The new Charger locomotive is the first passenger locomotive to receive the stringent Tier IV emissions certification from the Environmental Protection Agency, making it one of the cleanest diesel-electric passenger locomotives in operation today. The new locomotive, manufactured at Siemens’ solar-powered plant in Sacramento, California, now powers the majority of 24 daily Pacific Surfliner trains traveling through Southern California.
Almost 90 percent cleaner than the locomotives they replaced, the Charger locomotives allow the Pacific Surfliner service to meet growing demand for ridership while providing quieter, more efficient passenger rail service that helps relieve congestion on adjacent freeways.
“We have a commitment to enhancing our passengers’ experience as well as being good neighbors in the communities we serve. This new locomotive helps to fulfill both of these goals,” said Al Murray, chairman of the LOSSAN Agency, which oversees the Pacific Surfliner service.
Siemens built the Charger locomotives for transport agencies across the United States as part of a multi-state procurement project. The 14 Charger locomotives used on Pacific Surfliner service were funded by Caltrans with approximately USD 100 million in state, federal and local funds, and replaced Amtrak-owned locomotives which were nearly 20 years old.
The locomotives were originally unveiled by the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in October 2018.
Pacific Surfliner travels along a 565-km coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 27 stations. It is the busiest intercity passenger rail route in the United States with 24 daily trains and annual ridership of nearly 3 million.