Metra’s SD70MACHs Perform Well in Chicagoland

Metra officials tell Railfan & Railroad that 14 SD70MACH locomotives are on the property and in service. On June 16, Metra 505 is seen leading a Milwaukee District North train at CP Morgan in downtown Chicago. Photo by Justin Franz. 

Metra’s SD70MACHs Perform Well in Chicagoland

By Justin Franz 

More than a dozen of Metra’s rebuilt SD70MACH are now in service and agency officials say they are pleased with how the unique six-axle units are performing. 

The former freight locomotives are being rebuilt by Progress Rail from Kansas City Southern/Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana SD70MACs. They feature AC traction, HEP, microprocessor-controlled braking, meet Tier 3 emissions standards and are geared for 80 miles per hour. Metra initially ordered 15 of the locomotives and has since exercised an option for nine more. 

This isn’t the first time Metra has used six-axle locomotives for passenger power. In the past, the agency has used former Burlington Northern E9s and Milwaukee Road F40Cs. Like those F40Cs of the past, the SD70MACH locomotives are mostly assigned to the Milwaukee North and Milwaukee West lines.

This article was posted on: July 9, 2024