Chicago commuter carrier Metra has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to begin to replace its aging fleet of engines with new or remanufactured locomotives. The locomotive RFP, which was issued last week, calls for a base order of at least 12 new or 15 remanufactured locomotives with options for up to 30 additional new locomotives or 27 additional remanufactured locomotives, for a total of up to 42 new or remanufactured locomotives. Metra is asking for proposals for both new and remanufactured engines because it wants to weigh the costs/benefits of both options. Metra currently has about $125 million programmed for locomotive purchases over the next five years. The Metra Board of Directors has asked staff to consider financing alternatives, such as leasing, to maximize the efficient use of available capital resources. Metra expects to award the contract for locomotives later in 2018, with delivery of the first locomotive in 2020. The new or remanufactured locomotives will allow Metra to begin to replace outdated diesel locomotives with modern, cleaner-burning engines, significantly improving air quality.
—via Metra press release