Caltrans Charger locomotives to enter service on Capitol Corridor

Credit: Siemens.
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Siemens is to begin revenue testing of its new Charger series locomotive on California’s Capitol Corridor later this month.

The new generation of Tier 4 diesel-electric locomotives was launched on April 18 at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, just a few miles away from where the locomotives were designed and built.

A 30-day revenue testing period will begin later this month on the Capitol Corridor, which links San Jose and Sacramento, ahead of services beginning on other routes.

Siemens is initially supplying six Charger locomotives to Caltrans to serve Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner routes.

Michael Cahill, Siemens rolling stock president, said: “Unveiling the first of these locomotives built in California, for California, is a testament to the hard working employees in Sacramento who designed, engineered and manufactured these state-of-the-art rail vehicles.

“We’re proud to bring the latest technologies to life for Capitol Corridor riders and help usher in the next generation of clean, smart and efficient rail travel in California.”

Although traction power is supplied by the locomotive’s 4,400-horsepower QSK95 Cummins diesel engine, fuel consumption is reduced through a regenerative braking system which recycles energy from the electric traction motors to power auxiliary systems.

The Charger locomotive was the first high-speed passenger locomotive to meet the USA’s Tier 4 emissions standards.