Technology enables trains to operate on both diesel and electric rail lines more efficiently

May 11, 2011

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein today unveiled the agency’s first dual-powered locomotive, also the first of its kind in North America, 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.”


In September 2008, the Board 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. 


“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.”


Benefits of the dual-powered locomotives over the older diesel engines include 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.


Delivery of the dual-powered locomotives is expected to be completed by late 2012.




NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.