THE first of 15 Siemens ACS-64 electric locomotives delivered to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Septa) was unveiled at a ceremony and made its inaugural run in revenue service on July 11.
Purchased under Act 89, Pennsylvania's transport funding bill, the new locomotives, which were built at Siemens' plant in Sacramento, California, will expand Septa’s fleet while replacing eight ageing locomotives, including the last remaining AEM-7 electric locomotives still running in the United States. As part of a continuing effort to increase capacity, the new locomotives will initially be used with existing coaches and will eventually be paired with a new fleet of double-deck coaches on order from CRRC MA. Septa ordered an initial 13 locomotives in July 2015, with an option for five more.
“Septa's regional rail ridership has grown by more than 50% over the last 15 years,” says Septa general manager, Mr Jeffrey Knueppel. “The addition of these new Siemens ACS-64 locomotives is critical for Septa to expand capacity and meet the needs of our riders.”
“These are the types of projects that keep people, goods and services moving and are critical to the growth and economic vitality of the region and the state,” says Septa chairman, Mr Pasquale Deon, Sr.
The ACS-64 is equipped with New York Air Brake’s FastBrake system and electronically-controlled pneumatic brake system that is suited for push-pull operation. The wide-body, double-cab design also features an integrated crash energy management system, is equipped with regenerative braking and an onboard advanced civil speed enforcement system control unit including train radio, automatic train control and Positive Train Control. The driver’s cab and amenities have been designed with the assistance of the Brotherhood of Engineers Cab Committee.
“This locomotive is not only powerful, but also efficient and reliable,” says Mr Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock in the US. “We are proud that these locomotives got here on time and in great working condition, and we are excited to work with Septa to improve availability so more Philadelphians can get to their destinations safely and on time.”