Low to Zero Emission Trains Targeted for Arrow Service in East Valley

May 2, 2019

The proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2019/2020 Budget of $927 million is the largest the organization has ever considered, representing a 26% increase over FY 2018/2019 and 84% over FY 2017/2018.  Influenced by project size and delivery schedule, the budget reflects a range of new activity, including numerous projects SBCTA will be moving into the construction phase of development.  The I-10 Corridor Project – Contract 1, U.S. 395 Widening Project, the SR-210 Widening and Baseline Avenue Interchange Project, as well the new Mt. Vernon Avenue Viaduct in San Bernardino highlight the serious demands for transportation investment.  Additionally, the Redlands Passenger Rail Project will also begin its initial construction phase. 

However, SBCTA recognizes there is an opportunity to convert the power generator to an alternative propulsion technology in an effort to produce a zero or low emission vehicle that could run on existing heavy rail infrastructure thus reducing air quality impacts while maximizing the use of our existing rail infrastructure.  If achieved, these vehicles could be one of, if not ‘the’, first-of-its-kind in North America.

Inspired to take this idea to the next level, SBCTA was successful in securing a $30 million Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) grant to conduct the research and development efforts necessary to convert the DMU to a zero or low emission vehicle, purchase a converted vehicle, construct the necessary infrastructure to support the alternative propulsion technology and test the converted vehicle on the Arrow service corridor.  In addition, the State wants one of the first three DMUs converted in the future, with the ultimate goal being to operate the entire Arrow corridor as a zero or low emission revenue operation.

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