Siemens has received from the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) a contract to build four diesel-electric Charger locomotives with an option to purchase four more. Delivery of the vehicles will begin in December 2019. The locomotives will service the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE), a growing commuter rail service that currently runs four daily round trips from Stockton to San Jose, with future planned extensions to Ceres, Modesto and Sacramento.
The diesel-electric Charger locomotives will have EPA Tier 4 emissions certification, representing huge reductions in diesel emissions from the current vehicles. Using the QSK95 Cummins engine, they will provide a 16 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the existing SJRRC locomotives. Their higher (4,400) horsepower, in addition to providing higher passenger capacity, will also help the train to better catch up on delays and improve on-time performance. The new locomotives will be able to pull 10-car trains, a 43 per cent increase from the current capacity of 7 cars. Lower-noise diesel electric engines, a streamlined locomotive design and smoother traction control will result in quieter, smoother rides and an overall improved experience for both operators and passengers.