Metra receives largest-ever grant to purchase zero-emission trainsets

Metra will receive a federal grant worth nearly $170 million to purchase zero-emission trainsets, the largest such grant in the agency’s history.

According to officials, Metra will receive the $169.3 million grant as part of a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program.  

“We think zero-emission trainsets could be an exciting and positive addition to Metra’s fleet for a variety of reasons,” Metra CEO Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “Beyond the environmental and noise-reduction benefits, they also offer savings in energy consumption as well as better efficiency, flexibility, and reliability.”

According to officials, the battery-powered, zero-emission trainsets will be among the first used in the United States. Such trains are already used in Germany, France and Australia, according to a press release.

A “trainset” is a group of permanently coupled railcars powered by a propulsion system without a separate locomotive, with operator controls at both ends so they can change directions.

Trainsets can potentially accelerate and brake trains faster than traditional locomotives, according to officials, and also can replace diesel-powered locomotives that are beyond their replacement date, according to the agency.

The agency hopes to purchase up to 16 zero-emission trainsets through the grant.

Metra will likely introduce the trainsets on the Rock Island Line, the agency said, in an effort to improve air quality on Chicago’s South Side.

It is unclear when the locomotives would go into service.

Contact Us