NJ Transit board approves critical maintenance of dual-powered locomotives

NEWARK, NJ — On Dec. 14, NJ Transit’s board of directors approved a contract to perform key state-of-good-repair maintenance on the engines of the ALP-45 locomotive fleet. The engine overhauls will allow the locomotives to maintain their current EPA Tier III emissions standards and continue the environmental benefits they provide compared to the older locomotives they replaced.

“Keeping our trains in a state of good repair is critically important to realizing the environmental benefits these locomotives offer,” N.J. Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit board Chairperson Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “Performing this maintenance keeps these engines operating cleanly while minimizing the impact on our environment.”

“Aligned with NJ Transit’s commitment to sustainability, the locomotive engine overhaul approved by our board today will maintain compliance with EPA regulations for Tier III emissions, which has resulted in a significant reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions,” NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett said. “The overhaul will have the added benefit of improving overall rail service reliability for our customers.”

The ALP-45 fleet consists of 35 locomotives, which began entering service in 2012 and can operate under electric or diesel power. This flexibility makes them critical assets to the system. Each locomotive contains two Caterpillar 3512 HD high-speed diesel engines which, to remain compliant with EPA regulations, must have all emission-related maintenance per the original equipment manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.

The board of directors has authorized NJ Transit to enter into a contract with Foley-Caterpillar, of Piscataway, to overhaul the 70 engines — two per locomotive — at a cost not to exceed $34,854,248.48, plus a 5 percent contingency.

The engine overhaul is required at approximately 18,000 hours of operation and includes: engine inspection and replacement of parts, such as turbochargers, cylinder heads, fuel injectors and pistons; replacement of diesel oxidation catalyst; replacement of engine mounts; replacement of generator coupling element; and overhaul of generator.

The Tier III emissions standards of the ALP-45 fleet, when they were put into service for NJ Transit, realized an estimated emissions reduction of approximately 83 percent particulate matter and 42 percent NOx annually.

To further support NJ Transit’s goal of a reduced carbon footprint, 25 new Tier IV–compliant dual-powered locomotives continue to arrive and are being put into service from purchases in December 2017 and July 2020, adding 17 and eight locomotives to the fleet, respectively. Currently 13 of the 25 locomotives have been put into service and the 14th is being commissioned. There is an estimated emissions reduction of approximately 93 percent particulate matter and 85 percent NOx annually when compared to the oldest of the diesel locomotives, which will be retired.