Siemens ‘Chargers’ for California commuter operators

FIVE new Siemens SC-44 ‘Charger’ locos have been ordered to operate ‘Coaster’ commuter rail services between San Diego and Oceanside, in southern California.

The new locos will be built in the Siemens factory in Sacramento, California, and delivered by June 2021 at a cost of $37million.

The order is being funded by the Californian state government.

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‘Coaster’ EMD F40PH-2C No. 2101, which will be replaced by a ‘Charger’, heading north with a service to Oceanside, next to the Batiquitos Lagoon, south of Carlsbad, on December 26, 2013. KEITH FENDER

The new locos will replace five older EMD-design F40PH-2C locos rebuilt by Morrison-Knudsen (now part of Wabtec) in 1994, and will enable ‘Coaster’ services to be expanded as the new locos are expected to be 16% more fuel efficient compared to the older ones.

In Northern California, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which runs the ‘Altamont Corridor Express’ (ACE) commuter service from San Jose to Stockton, has also ordered four SC-44 ‘Charger’ locos.

Plans are being developed to expand ACE services to serve Modesto and Sacramento which, if implemented, will require additional trains.

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ACE currently operates services using six EMD-design F40PH-2C/3C locos.

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