NEWARK, NJ – Newark Penn Station is on track towards becoming a more reliable and sustainable travel hub as Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday introduced the first fleet of dual-powered locomotives to the city.
Standing on the Track A platform, Murphy introduced just one of 25 new diesel-electric trains expected to make their way to the Newark station in the coming months equipped with new, environmentally-friendly features.
"This is a game-changer in many respects," the governor said. "New Jersey commuters deserve only the best, and that is what we are delivering to them today.”
The ALP-45 dual-power locomotives, manufactured by Alstom, produce zero emissions when running on electric power and have fewer emissions when running on diesel power than the all-diesel trains they are replacing.
By reducing emissions, the trains will also meet the current EPA Tier IV requirements, the most rigorous air quality standard to date for new locomotives.
They are designed to operate push-pull passenger train service on both electrified and non-electrified lines at speeds of up to 125 mph in electric mode and up to 100 mph in diesel mode.
Before the locomotives are fully operational, NJ Transit officials said they will undergo dynamic qualification and acceptance testing for about six weeks, at which time they will be prepared to enter revenue service.
“It represents the first tangible evidence of a process we started three years ago to renew our entire rail fleet," NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin Corbett said. "In just two years, we begin taking delivery of 113 new self-propelled multilevel rail cars to replace the 40-year-old plus Arrow III cars, and all of these new locomotives and rail cars promise to significantly improve service and reliability for our customers.”
Months after signing expansive environmental justice legislation, the governor vowed New Jersey would invest in clean transportation projects which kicked off with a commitment of $130 million towards the effort in February.
About $94 million of the funds came from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which the state re-joined when Murphy took office. Another $45 million was available from Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funds, which resulted from emissions cheating, according to the governor.
They represent a significant investment on the Garden State’s road to reach 100% clean energy by 2050.
At the time of Murphy's announcement, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka called the efforts “forward-thinking” while acknowledging that there’s still much more work to be done on the city's end to become a cleaner, sustainable community.
“These are great things that are happening in the middle of this pandemic," Baraka said. "We still have work to do to make sure New Jersey is clean and safe, and equitable, and that begins right here in the largest city in New Jersey.”