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Metrolink Reduces Emissions, Increases Passenger Load

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Keith Millhouse, vice-chairman of the board of Metrolink speaks during a roll-out ceremony of Metrolink's cleanest locomotive, background, in LA. The locomotives, which cost nearly $2 million each, use computer technology and electronic fuel injection to reduce emissions and a shut-down feature to reduce idling. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Just in time for Earth Day, Metrolink officials announced the arrival of a new kind of train yesterday -- one that's cleaner for the environment and more horsepower, hauling more train cars and passengers. Here is the good news:

  • Trains in use right now can only pull about six cars. The new model, which is 10 feet longer, can pull ten, which increases passenger capacity by 1200. That's a lot more people!
  • "This is sort of the train-version of a hybrid car that shuts itself off when it's not moving," said Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell to the OC Register. The auto start/stop feature used will help reduce emissions.
  • The train emits 42% less nitrogen oxides, 70% less carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons than the current model.
  • 15 were purchased at about about $1.9 million each. Orange County's transportation agency bought seven of them to serve routes within their area.

Trains will be delivered over the next 15 months and rolled out into the system as such.