Old locomotives getting $27m overhaul

THE MBTA’S FISCAL AND MANAGEMENT Control Board voted on Monday to spend $26.9 million overhauling 10 commuter rail locomotives that are already about 30 years old.

Joseph Aiello, chairman of the board, voted for the overhaul but with reservations about spending so much money on equipment that is already so old. “Chasing old junk is not my cup of tea,” he said. “Not a way to run a business.”

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Keolis Commuter Services runs and repairs the T’s commuter rail locomotives and passenger coaches but has run into problems keeping the aging fleet working. Many of the system’s older locomotives are prone to breakdowns and even the newest locomotives have experienced a lot of problems. The T has no plans to purchase new locomotives any time soon, so it has embarked on a crash course to speed up repairs or bring out-of-service locomotives on line.

One of the initiatives is to overhaul 10 locomotives – five that are in service and five that are out of service. Motive Power Industries was the winning bidder, largely because of the technical expertise it gained in doing midlife overhauls of the same locomotives between 2001 and 2004.

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