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Transportation officials unveil overhauled locomotive

MassDOT/MBTA

The “newest” member of the commuter rail fleet.

By Steve Annear Globe Staff 

A brand-new locomotive will be pulling train cars to Cape Cod during the weekends this summer.

Well, almost new.

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The MBTA has rebuilt and refurbished a locomotive and given it a snazzy new paint job. The locomotive will be responsible for bringing CapeFlyer trains between Boston and the Cape beginning Memorial Day weekend, and used for regular commuter rail service on weekdays.

The locomotive is 29 years old, and suffered what officials from the Department of Transportation called a “catastrophic engine failure” in 2014.

But after two months of labor, it was restored. The vehicle received a new engine, and its major components were rebuilt, transportation officials said.

Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said a new locomotive typically costs about $6.5 million. It cost less than $1 million to rebuild this unit, he said in a statement.

Frank DePaola, general manager of the MBTA, said the project represented “the type of investments the MBTA must make to improve reliability and deliver the level of service our customers deserve.”

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He said under the latest capital investment plan, the MBTA will spend $765 million annually to upgrade and modernize its aging infrastructure and vehicles.

Under that plan, 10 more locomotives will receive a similar overhaul.

The state’s rehabilitation efforts aren’t the only thing that makes the train unique. The locomotive is also the first of its kind with MassDOT colors, officials said. No other units will get a similar design.

While the vehicle is expected to make its debut this month, officials said people may spot the locomotive making test runs before that.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.