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NCTD Completes Conversion to More Sustainable COASTER Locomotives

Final order will enable NCTD to nearly double service frequency in San Diego County
  • Two more Siemens Charger locomotives ordered, for a total of nine new units
  • Fully revamped COASTER fleet will enable NCTD to nearly double service frequency in San Diego County
  • New locomotives deliver a cleaner environmental footprint
  • NCTD order marks Siemens’ 300th passenger locomotive sold in North America

Oceanside, CA – The North County Transit District (NCTD) has ordered two additional Siemens Charger locomotives, for a total order of nine units. These locomotives complete NCTD’s efforts to replace and convert its current COASTER locomotive fleet to more efficient, lower-emissions vehicles. The new locomotives will also expand NCTD’s fleet size and enable NCTD to nearly double COASTER service frequency for the traveling public in San Diego County.

“Submitting our final order for two additional locomotives cements our commitment to enhancing our COASTER riders’ experience,” said Tony Kranz, NCTD Board Chair and Encinitas Councilmember. “In addition to increasing service frequencies, these new locomotives will provide a smoother and more reliable passenger experience, will significantly reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality, and reduce noise pollution for residents and riders.”

In 2018, NCTD initially ordered five Siemens Charger locomotives to replace aging vehicles that had reached their useful lifespan. The first order of locomotives has been delivered and are currently in the testing and commissioning phase. In 2019, NCTD’s Board of Directors approved the purchase of two additional Siemens Charger locomotives and two new trainsets (each trainset includes a Siemens Charger locomotive as well as four bilevel coach cars and a bilevel cab car from another manufacturer).

The Siemens Charger locomotives will improve overall COASTER efficiency and sustainability, providing an estimated 90% reduction in emissions (compared to previous engines). This will allow NCTD to improve operational efficiency while contributing to California’s local and state sustainability and air quality goals.

Importantly, Siemens Charger locomotives comply with today’s highest emissions standards. In addition to being Tier-4 certified by the EPA, the Siemens Charger was recently emissions-verified by the stringent California Air Resources Board (CARB) standards.

“We are grateful to NCTD for their continued confidence in Siemens’ technology. These two additional locomotives represent an important milestone for us, bringing the total number of locomotives Siemens Mobility has sold in North America to 300,” explained Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Mobility Rolling Stock in North America.  “We are proud to be able to manufacture these locomotives by Californians for California. Producing these locomotives at our solar powered Sacramento factory further improves the strong environmental footprint of NCTD’s service. “

NCTD was able to purchase the diesel-electric Siemens Charger locomotives as part of a multi-state procurement with the California and Illinois Departments of Transportation. This joint agreement saves money for the District due to lowered procurement costs. Additionally, the size of the procurement aids in the future acquisition of needed parts for continued operations as the same type of vehicle has already been purchased in multiple states – with 37 in California alone.

Siemens Mobility provides the light rail vehicles for San Diego and has provided Siemens Charger locomotives for Pacific Surfliner trains on the LOSSAN Corridor between San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, and San DiegoElsewhere around the country, Siemens Mobility provides rail vehicles, locomotives, coaches, components, and systems to more than 30 transit agencies and cities such as Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis, as well as state customers such as IDOT, Caltrans and WSDOT, and Amtrak.

The Siemens Mobility Sacramento plant manufactures the full range of vehicles from light rail and trams, to locomotives and passenger coaches. It is a full-scale modern manufacturing plant powered by a two-megawatt solar installation.


About NCTD: The North County Transit District is a public transportation agency providing over 10 million passenger trips in Fiscal Year 2019 throughout North San Diego County and into downtown San Diego. NCTD’s system includes BREEZE buses (with FLEX service), COASTER commuter trains, SPRINTER hybrid rail trains, and LIFT paratransit service. NCTD’s mission is to deliver safe, convenient, reliable, and user-friendly public transportation services. For more information visit:

About Siemens Mobility: Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio in its core areas of rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, turnkey systems, intelligent traffic systems as well as related services. With digitalization, Siemens Mobility is enabling mobility operators worldwide to make infrastructure intelligent, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience and guarantee availability. In fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019, the former Siemens Mobility Division posted revenue of €8.9 billion and had around 36,800 employees worldwide. Further information is available at: