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NCTD Board Approves Purchase of New Locomotives to Serve San Diego County

COASTER Concept Art

Oceanside, CA—The North County Transit District (NCTD) Board of Directors approved the purchase of five new Siemens locomotives at the June Board meeting. The five locomotives being replaced were originally built between 1975-1992 and were purchased as used by NCTD. These five locomotives have reached the end of their useful life.

“These new locomotives will help support our mission to provide reliable public transportation to passengers throughout San Diego County,” said Bill Horn, NCTD Board Member and County Supervisor for the 5th District. “In addition to increased reliability, they will also incorporate new technologies that reduce emissions and will improve air quality in the region.”

The new locomotives will allow NCTD to improve operational efficiency while contributing to local and state sustainability and air quality goals, with an estimated 90% reduction in emissions (compared to the existing engines) and 16% reduction in fuel consumption.

“Businesses and commuters throughout San Diego County benefit from the convenience and the presence of the COASTER and they will benefit even more from these updated vehicles,” said NCTD Board Chair Rebecca Jones.

“Our Board is happy to welcome the new fuel-efficient and lower-emission vehicles to NCTD! We look forward to the enhanced service our passengers will receive from them,” said NCTD Board Vice-Chair John Aguilera.

Siemens provides rail vehicles, locomotives, components, and systems to more than 25 agencies in cities such as Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Portland, and Sacramento. In addition, Siemens provides traction-power substations and electricity transmission, as well as signaling and control technology for freight and passenger rail systems.

Janet Rogers, from the Train Coalition at Santa Fe Depot, noted, “The benefit of having cleaner-burning engines is of utmost importance to residents along the corridor. The new dependable equipment will thrill the thousands of COASTER passengers who rely on the trains every day.”

Approval from the Board enables NCTD 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.

“We are most grateful to NCTD for this order and extremely proud to supply these Californian built locomotives from our Sacramento facility, which currently has more than 1,300 dedicated and passionate employees,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock in the U.S. “It’s a plant that is solar powered, making it even more energy efficient in terms of its overall sustainability footprint.”

The purchase of new COASTER locomotives—priced collectively at over $37 million—has been made possible by State of California funding provided by new revenues generated from Senate Bill 1 (SB1): The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 and $10 million of Carl Moyer grant funds provided from the Air Pollution Control District. Once the locomotives are received, NCTD is slated to add 36 additional COASTER trips each week to the current schedule—six on each weekday, three on Saturday, and three on Sunday. NCTD anticipates delivery of the first vehicle in March of 2021, and the last vehicle in June of 2021. It is estimated that vehicles will be put in-service three to six months after the delivery of each vehicle.

*Image: Rendering of what the new locomotive may look like. Design is subject to change.


About North County Transit District

The North County Transit District is a public transportation agency providing over 10 million passenger trips annually 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, Inc.
Siemens Mobility, Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of Siemens AG, is a leading international provider of intelligent mobility solutions that offer guaranteed availability, optimized capacity and enhanced passenger experience. The company’s business includes rail rolling stock, rail automation, intelligent traffic systems, traffic telematics systems as well as rail electrification. Services offered by Siemens Mobility, Inc. increase the availability of rolling stock and transport infrastructure. The portfolio also covers turnkey mobility projects and tailored financing solutions.

Siemens Mobility, Inc. draws on more than 160 years of expertise and experience in transportation. The company combines innovations with comprehensive industry know-how, a global network of recognized experts in over 40 countries, and the solid financial base of Siemens AG.

You can find additional information about Siemens Mobility at: