The riding public was treated today to the sight of two brand-new-to-me locomotives that the MBTA purchased from the Utah Transit Authority. (Yes, Utah has a transit authority, which has a surplus of trains in preparation for a big expansion in service scheduled for 2013-14). One of the two locomotives made its first service run today and met a contingent of reporters and VIPs at South Station. (Note to reporters: let the riders disembark before trying to board yourselves). The Worcester-to-Boston service was only 20 minutes late, so riders were not eligible for a complementary fare. Incidentally, the train also had two locomotives — the new one on the front and the usual one on the back. Not taking any chances with mechanical problems, these transit bigwigs.
Originally the T planned to purchase or lease as many as nine new-to-me locomotives from the Utah Transit Authority with delivery beginning in the fall 2010, but that number appears to have been cut back and the delivery delayed. Even so, the new locomotive was a welcome shot of good press for the MBTA during a dreary stretch of winter weather. The units are said to be a little bit more fuel efficient while also being a little bit more powerful than the MBTA’s existing stable of geriatric locomotives. The press releases don’t mention a model number, which apparently is a variant of Motive Power’s MP36.