In the days running up to the introduction to service of the new WSDOT Siemens Charger locomotives, they were stored in the yard in Seattle awaiting the clearance to run. I was down there for another project and all of these shiny new locomotives were just asking to have their picture taken. How could I refuse? Sadly, one of these locos was involved in the accident a few weeks later.
I wrote in a previous post about heading out to get shots of a Sounder train for a project I was working on. I did get a bonus opportunity while I was there. The same line is used by the Amtrak Cascades services between Seattle and Vancouver BC. A train from Vancouver was running a bit late so it was the first one I saw. It appeared to have been that they held the Sounder trains for the Cascades train, perhaps because of the timings of the stops although I don’t know for sure. Either way, it showed up just after I got there.
WSDOT’s new Siemens Charger locos had just entered service on this day and one of them was on the front of the train. They had not yet removed the old loco as they were running in the new units to deal with any infant mortality issues. The Charger was mounted ahead of the NPCU on the opposite end to the other loco. Having worked on the Charger program, I was pleased to see them in service.
The acquisition of new locomotives for the state of California is something I have been working on for a while. A little time back I posted about some testing from the cab that we did in Colorado. Since then the first locos for the state have been delivered to Oakland. We had to do a bunch of testing with local equipment and to carry out trials out on the corridors that the trains operate. I managed to get a few shots of the locos during these tests (as well as some in Colorado that used locos that will go to Illinois).
Now that the testing is wrapped up and the locos belong to the state and, if they haven’t already, will shortly be showing up in regular service, it is okay to post some shots of the vehicles. They are Charger diesel locos built by Siemens in Sacramento California. These locos are powerful and fast. They are designed for 125mph although they won’t be used at high speeds in California due to track limitations. However, hopefully they will provide modern, efficient and cleaner traction for the state. I am proud to have been involved in the program and enjoyed working with the team.