A REQUEST for proposals has been issued by New Jersey Transit and Montréal's Agence Métropolitaine de Transport for joint procurement of up to 70 dual-mode diesel/AC electric locomotives for commuter rail services.

Specifications were drawn up by engineering consultancy STV and include the ability to work in push-pull mode with multi-level coaches at up to 200 km/h.

Responses to the request are due back by July 20, with an initial order of 30 to 35 locomotives expected. NJT's dual-mode locos would enable more through services to operate from non-electrified lines into New York's Penn Station. AMT hopes to use its locos on the new non-electrified Repentigny-Mascouche branch that will connect with the 25 kV Deux Montagnes line into Montréal's Central Station. Also planned is a connection between the non-electrified Blainville Line and Deux Montagnes.

Numerous challenges face potential bidders, not the least of which are the constrained clearances in the Hudson River tunnels between New York and New Jersey, which will require the diesel traction equipment and electrical transformers to be squeezed into a 22·9 m long body. The new locos' diesel engine must also meet EPA Tier III emission standards, which become effective in 2010.

  • On April 20, the Virginia Railway Express Operations Board voted to issue a request for proposals for 20 new locomotives to replace its current fleet of aging former freight units.