NEWARK— NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein unveiled the agency’s first dual-powered locomotive on Wednesday, displaying the new equipment in Newark Penn Station and taking another step forward in the modernization of the state’s rail fleet.
“We are excited to modernize the NJ Transit fleet by bringing dual-powered technology to our state’s rail network,” said Weinstein. “These new locomotives will have the benefit of being quieter, more fuel efficient and more environmentally-friendly than the locomotives they’ll replace, some of which are 40 years old.”
The dual-powered locomotives — the first of their kind in North America — offer better acceleration, more efficient operation than current diesel locomotives, cleaner operation in electric mode, and reduced reliance on diesel fuel. The new locomotives will meet the latest federal emissions requirements, replacing the older locomotives that were grandfathered from having to meet the current standards.
NJ Transit uses diesel locomotives to operate rail service in non-electrified territories, which includes the Pascack Valley, Main/Bergen County and Raritan Valley lines, as well the North Jersey Coast Line between Long Branch and Bay Head and Montclair-Boonton and Morris & Essex lines west of Dover. Nearly 40 percent of the state’s commuter rail system is non-electrified.
In September 2008, NJ Transit awarded a contract to Bombardier Transit Corporation for the purchase of 26 dual-powered locomotives — which can operate in both electrified and non-electrified territory — at a total cost of approximately $310 million, including design, engineering, manufacturing, training and spare parts, with the option to purchase additional locomotives in the future. Delivery of the dual-powered locomotives is expected to be completed by late 2012.
“We are proud that our new dual-powered locomotives will be the latest addition to NJ Transit’s fleet of passenger rail equipment, and that they will help advance sustainable mobility for the region,” said Ake Wennberg, president, Locomotives and Equipment Division, Bombardier Transportation. “These locomotives incorporate our newest energy-saving and environmentally-friendly features. They also offer greater operating flexibility as they are able to run under both diesel power and alternating current electric power from overhead sources — a first in North America.”
NJ Transit also approved the purchase of 39 low-floor buses Wednesday that are expected to help the agency better serve customers and meet ridership demand. The new buses have features that allow for faster, easier boarding and exiting, according to Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chairman James Simpson.
NJ Transit authorized a $17.2 million contract with North American Bus Industries, Inc., of Anniston, Alabama, for the purchase of 39 low-floor, 30-foot transit buses to replace some of the agency’s older buses. The new buses will meet or exceed the latest environmental standards by incorporating technologies to reduce exhaust emissions.
Twenty-six of the low-floor buses will be used on NJ Transit routes in southern New Jersey—primarily on the Nos. 501, 504 and 505 in the Atlantic City area. The remaining 13 will be used on the Nos. 871, 872, 873, 874, 875 and 880 in Morris County.
NJ Transit customers will be able to obtain train schedule information via text message. The new service, offered in partnership with CooCoo, a third-party text engine company based in Long Island that already works with the MTA to provide Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road real-time schedule information via text message, debuted this week.
Customers can text a station-to-station request to 266266 (CooCoo), and CooCoo will text back the requested information. For example, text “Trenton to NY Penn,” and CooCoo will respond with the next scheduled trains as a list of menu options. For more information, text the letter of the menu option, and CooCoo will respond with details such as fares and travel time, as well as any real-time information from DepartureVision. To receive train schedules for the next morning, include a time in the text (e.g. Trenton to NY Penn 7 a.m.).