North County Transit District (NCTD), the transit agency responsible for the public transport in North San Diego County, put into service five new diesel-electric Charger locomotives from Siemens and several renovated Bombardier passenger railcars. They were deployed on the Coaster rail route running north and south through San Diego County, serving eight stations between Oceanside and downtown San Diego.
The launch of the new Charger locomotives overhauled passenger cars underscores NCTD’s commitment to its mission to deliver safe, convenient, reliable, and user-friendly public transportation services. This roll out is a huge step in improving Coaster services,” Tony Kranz, NCTD Board Chairman said.
The overhauled Coaster coach and cab cars will be painted with a new color scheme, and will be equipped with new seating upholstery, new carpet, upgraded LED lighting, and charging amenities at some seats.
The funding for the five new replacement locomotives came from a USD 10 million grant from the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Carl Moyer Programme, along with approximately USD 46.6 million from the State of California Senate Bill 1 (SB1).
The funding for the overhaul of the Coaster cars is provided from federal, state, and local sources.
In addition to the locomotives and coach overhaul project, NCTD will be receiving two replacement locomotives, two expansion locomotives, ten expansion bi-level passenger coaches, and one replacement rail cab to support state of good repair needs and regional plans to increase train frequencies from 22 to 42 trains per average weekday over the next three to five years. The funding for the expansion equipment is being provided by San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
The NCTD is advancing a strategic five-year plan to implement low- and zero-emissions technologies, introduce new and improved services and technologies, foster economic growth, support regional housing needs, and modernise the infrastructure. This plan includes the acquisition of new vehicles for the rail and bus fleets, executing agreements to support the redevelopment of property owned by NCTD, and enhancing the customer experience by leveraging new technology, such as a new fare system and improved real-time information, and striving for zero operating delays.