RAIL TRANSIT: Toronto’s Go Transit commuter rail gets its first Tier 4 locomotive

Dec. 14, 2015

The new train complies with U.S. EPA Tier 4 emissions regulations

Toronto commuter rail operator Go Transit has taken delivery of its first locomotive to comply with the latest US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions regulations.

Motive Power Industries (MPI), a subsidiary of Wabtec, took receipt in 2012 of a $32.8 million order from the agency for 11 repowered MP54AC locomotives. Toronto and Hamilton transit authority Metrolinx and MPI subsequently signed a $63 million (CDN) contract for an additional 10 new-build MP54ACs, which will take the fleet to 21 units.

In 2013, Go Transit sent a locomotive from its existing MPI fleet to the company's plant in Boise, Idaho, to be repowered, replacing the existing EMD-710 power unit with two Cummins QSK60 engines with a combined rating of 4 mw. As a result of the dual-engine design, heavy modifications to the body have been made to accommodate extra air intake and exhaust ports.

According to MPI, the dual-engine configuration will improve reliability and reduce fuel consumption as the second engine can be disabled as needed or used as a backup should one fail.

The locomotives are equipped with an IGBT-based ac-traction system with individual axle control, brushless ac motors and a synchronous alternator. On Dec. 12-13, Go Transit performed tests on the new locomotive, including station timing, acceleration and braking distance testing at speeds of up to 150 km/h.

The test train was formed of 14 coaches to simulate a fully loaded 12-car train. The new locomotive is expected to be put into service in early 2016.