Septa’s chief press officer Mr Andrew Busch told IRJ that the first locomotive began its journey across the United States last week, accompanied by the first of eight SC-44 Charger diesel locomotives for Maryland Transit Administration (pictured below). 

Septa awarded Siemens a $US 118m contract in 2015 to supply 13 ACS-64s to replace its eight AEM-7 and ALP-44 locomotives on Lansdale - Doylestown, Paoli - Thorndale, and Wilmington - Newark commuter services, and expand the electric locomotive fleet to meet additional ridership demand.

The ACS-64s will operate with Septa Regional Rail’s existing fleet of 36 Bombardier double-deck coaches as well as 45 new coaches ordered last year from CRRC Tangshan, which are due to be delivered from 2019 onwards.

Septa says it does not yet have a firm date for introduction of the ACS-64s, but the first units will enter service “sometime in early 2018.”

Last year Septa hired an Amtrak ACS-64 to test clearances on its branch lines and in Philadelphia’s Center City Tunnel.

MARC Charger

The first SC-44 locomotive for Marc at Siemens' Sacramento plant. Photo: MTA