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New locomotives for VRE

Virginia Railway Express, state and local officials welcomed the first of 19 new locomotives Friday that will improve the efficiency of the commuter rail service and pave the way for future expansions.

The 19 locomotives are being built by Motive Power Inc. in Idaho and cost almost $77 million total, with funding coming from the state, local and federal governments, VRE officials said.

VRE officials said the new locomotives are more environmentally friendly and can carry up to 10 cars instead of six, which is where most trains are today.

The new locomotives are more efficient and will face fewer mechanical issues than the current ones VRE got when it started service more than a decade ago. A central diagnostic system was also added so rail officials can constantly monitor all the systems aboard the locomotive.

VRE's average daily ridership is at more than 17,000 and continues to rise, commuter rail officials said. The next locomotive is set to arrive in November.

--Jennifer Buske

By Luke Rosiak  | July 30, 2010; 4:14 PM ET
Categories:  Commuter Rail, Virginia  
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Please use the old locomotives as breakdown replacements.

Posted by: b1978367 | July 30, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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