Siemens has started testing its hybrid Charger locomotive at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado.

The next-generation diesel-electric locomotive is the first 125mph passenger locomotive to be awarded the Tier 4 emissions standard.

Powered by a 4,400 horsepower Cummins QSK95 diesel engine, the emissions produced by the Charger locomotives are 90 per cent less than a Tier 0 locomotive.

Siemens said the testing will include a series of maximum speed runs, during which the performance of the locomotive’s acceleration and braking will be assessed.

The Charger locomotive will become a common sight over the coming years, with transport authorities in Illinois, California, Washington, Michigan, Missouri and Maryland all placing orders.

In a press release announcing the start of testing, Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rolling Stock, said: “These diesel-electric locomotives truly represent the next generation of clean and efficient rail travel in the United States, and the testing being done in Pueblo is a crucial step in bringing this advanced rail technology to states across the country.

“The Siemens Charger not only is the first diesel-electric locomotive to meet the EPA’s strict Tier 4 emissions standards, but it is also a powerful example of what can be accomplished through American manufacturing.”

Charger locomotives will also be used as traction for Florida’s new Brightline passenger rail service. The first of these will be delivered later this year, ahead of the start of passenger service next summer.

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