by Peter Lyden
NJT’s new ALP-45 dual-powered locomotives (also known as ALP-45DPs) are expected to debut in March 2011 and will be a complete new transition for NJT to future of transportation. All locomotives are expected to be on property by October 2012. The locomotives are based off the currently built ALP-46 and ALP-46A locomotives and were built in Germany. They will run under electro-diesel power, and will run under overhead wires on the electrical part of the line. The locomotives will relieve noise pollution on the NJT lines to help preserve the environment from noise and fuel pollution.
The NJT ALP-45DP locomotives are numbered through the 4500-4535 series. These are built by ABB Bombardier. Two contracts were awarded to build these locomotives on August 18, 2008 and were leased to NJT in the U.S. and AMT in Canada. NJT currently has 178 million EUR for 26 locomotive with an option for 63 more in addition. AMT currently has 152 million EUR for 20 locomotive with option for 10 more in addition (Railvolution No. 6/10 Volume 10).
Currently Amtrak, LIRR, and Metro-North already operate dual-powered locomotives that operate off of 650 V DC third rail. This rail is an electrical rail in which the electrical wires run along the track instead of the overhead catinary wires. The Amtrak, LIRR, and Metro-North locomotives are named DM30AC and P32-ACDM. The ALP-45DP locomotive is the first American locomotive to combine diesel and electrical power on an overhead wire system. These locomotives evenly distribute weight and gravity as low as possible to minimize centrifugal forces on curves (Railvolution No. 6/10 Volume 10). They weigh slightly less than 130.6 t. The design is based on TRAXX and ALP-46 locomotives. Just like some of the diesel locomotives (like the PL42-AC and P40BH Genesis locomotives run on NJT), there is a door at the rear of the locomotive that will enable train crews to move from the engine and move about the train (Railvolution No. 6/10 Volume 10).
The new locomotives will be extremely successful on the NJT lines. Many engineers and passengers will really benefit from these locomotives. They will relieve noise pollution and help preserve the environment. It will be a much more relaxing ride for the passengers because of the smooth ride the locomotive will provide as compared to the current diesel locomotives that operate the NJT rails. There will also be absolutely no need at all for passengers to change trains at Long Branch or Newark since the locomotives will be able to run under electric and diesel power. All service south of Long Branch on the North Jersey Coast Line is all strictly diesel power. These locomotives will be able to operate in and out of New York Penn Station. Diesel locomotives are not allowed to operate in and out of Penn Station New York because of the noise and fuel of the locomotives. Passengers will really love and benefit from these new locomotives. It’s one of the best improvements NJT has ever had in its history of running the rails.
-Railvolution. The Professional Two-Monthly Magazine Of Rail Transport Worldwide. No. 6/10. Volume 10.