October 24, 2017
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All Aboard!

By Megan Connell & Jacob Rajlich 

Last week, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) shared a security camera still of a Siemens SC-44 locomotive passing through Illinois Terminal on our social media platforms. Given the large number of responses, we wanted to write a post showing the advancements that are “en route” for transit here in Champaign-Urbana.

Security still of a Siemens SC-44 coming by Illinois Terminal on a test train. Photo courtesy of CUMTD.

The new Siemens SC-44 “Charger” locomotives are jointly owned by Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri and are leased to Amtrak for use on the Illinois corridor trains. A total of 33 locomotives will be used on the Midwest corridor, including the Chicago-Carbondale corridor which travels through Champaign-Urbana.

Amtrak’s City of New Orleans pulls into Illinois Terminal this past fall, with two GE locomotives. Photo courtesy of Jacob Rajlich.

The SC-44 is one of the newest passenger locomotives available today, with a design influenced by the appearance of European trains. It is powered by a 16 cylinder, 4400 horsepower Cummins engine. They can even reach a top speed of 125 mph!

These locomotives, built in 2017, are replacing Amtrak-owned GE P42DC locomotives, built between 1998 and 2001 which have run for millions of miles.

The SC-44 locomotives are in the process of being delivered, and should all be in service in late 2017 to early 2018, including on Amtrak’s Illini and Saluki lines.

Along with new locomotives, Illinois Terminal will also be served with brand new hybrid buses. MTD has taken delivery of 18 40-foot New Flyer XDE40 buses which will enter service later this year, replacing 18 older buses while maintaining the MTD fleet size of 111 buses.

One of the brand new 2017 New Flyer XDE40’s on MTD property. Photo courtesy of Jacob Rajlich.

Like the SC-44 locomotives, these new buses are also powered by Cummins engines. While similar in appearance to MTD’s 2013 and 2016 buses, these have a brand-new engine design, and meet stricter emission regulations.

The current plan is to replace some of MTD’s 40-foot 2003 New Flyers, along with both of the MTD’s 30-foot 2005 ElDorados.

One of the 30’ ElDorado’s being retired by the new 2017 buses. Photo courtesy of Jacob Rajlich.

With new vehicles on both the roads and rails, it’s an exciting time to be a transit fan in Champaign-Urbana. Stay tuned for more information on when we can expect to see the SC-44s and 2017s in service.

Jacob Rajlich is an operations intern at MTD and a sophomore in civil engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Megan Connell is an administrative intern at MTD who is studying public management at Indiana University Bloomington. 

About Lisa Meid

As MTD's Media Manager, Lisa Meid acts as the District's storyteller and media contact. She can be reached at 217.384.8188 x396 or lmeid@cumtd.com.
This entry was posted in Between the Lines, CUMTD News, Just for Fun, MTDers. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to All Aboard!

  1. Trent Johnson says:

    None of the images load for me 🙁

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Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
1101 East University Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802-2009
(217) 384-8188
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