Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
MBTA locomotive #2032 at Wachusett station
Type and origin
Power typeDiesel-electric
Build date2013–2014
Total produced40
 • UICBo′Bo′
Gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm)
TrucksMPI MP1114, 4-wheel, cast frame w/ traction pivot
Wheel diameter40 in
Minimum curve20 degrees (288 ft 0 in (87.78 m)
Wheelbase45 ft 0 in (13.72 m) (between truck centers)
Length71 ft 0 in (21.64 m)
Width10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Height15 ft 4.5 in (4.686 m)
Axle load72,500 lb (32,885 kg) Max
Adhesive weight100%
Loco weight287,500 lb (130,408 kilograms)
Fuel typeDiesel
Fuel capacity2,000 US gal (7,600 L; 1,700 imp gal)
Coolant cap.360 US gal (1,400 L; 300 imp gal)
Prime moverGE GEVO-12[1]
RPM range440–1050 (600–1050 while supplying HEP)
Engine type45° V12, four stroke cycle diesel engine[1]
Displacement188.5 L (49.8 US gal; 41.5 imp gal)[2]
AlternatorGE 5GMG211 Traction Alternator with Integral HEP winding, Single bearing
Traction motors4 GE GEB-15 AC Traction Motors
Cylinder size15.7083 liters (958.58 cu in)
MU workingYes
Train heatingLocomotive-supplied head-end power; Inverter HEP
IGBT based w/ capacitor/inductor filtration
804 hp (600 kW), 3 phase ,480 VAC
Loco brakeElectropneumatic w/ blended dynamic braking
Train brakesElectropneumatic
Safety systemsATC / ACSES / PTC
Performance figures
Maximum speed110 mph (177 km/h) (design)
80 mph (129 km/h) (service)
Power outputAt alternator:
4,650 hp (3,470 kW)
At wheel (HEP dependent):
~4,300 hp (3,200 kW)
~3,500 hp (2,600 kW)
Tractive effort289.14 kN (65,000 lbf) starting
Factor of adh.4.423
OperatorsMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
DeliveredOctober 24, 2013
First runApril 16, 2014

The MPI HSP46 is a four-axle AC-traction diesel-electric locomotive for commuter trains, designed and assembled by MotivePower. It meets EPA Tier 3 emissions standards. The launch customer is the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), whose first unit entered revenue service in April 2014.


The locomotives are powered by GE GEVO-12 diesel engines from GE Transportation,[1] equipped with a static inverter for head end power, and capable of meeting the stringent new Tier 3 emissions regulations. AC traction systems, prime movers, head end power equipment, and computer systems are supplied by GE, while MPI supplies the brake systems, air systems, and cooling systems.[4]

The locomotive was styled by industrial designer Cesar Vergara, who also designed the GE Genesis.[3][5]


Locomotive 2001 at the Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility in October 2013
Locomotive 2001 on its first day of revenue service in 2014

In the mid-2000s the MBTA issued a request for proposal for new diesel locomotives to replace its aging fleet, much of which dated to the late 1970s.[1] Two firms responded: Vossloh España and MotivePower. MBTA selected Vossloh, but the Federal Transit Administration rejected the MBTA's request for a "Buy America Act" waiver because the MBTA "has not identified a significant technological difference between locomotives produced by Vossloh and MotivePower", and that it has "not established sufficient grounds for a public interest waiver".[6][7] MBTA turned to MotivePower, and ordered 20 new HSP46 locomotives on July 14, 2010, at a cost of $114.6 million.[1]

On July 27, 2011, the MBTA released images of a new paint scheme for the authority's HSP46 fleet.[8] It was chosen by the general public in an online survey.[8]

On July 11, 2012, the MBTA Board voted to approve the first option for seven locomotives, bringing the order total to 27 units.[9] On April 10, 2013, the Board approved the purchase of the remaining 13 option locomotives, bringing the current order total to 40 units (2000–2039), at a total cost of $240 million.[10]

On October 24, 2013, the first pilot unit, No. 2001, was delivered to the MBTA Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility to begin testing and training. Two other pilot units were also released from MotivePower: No. 2000 to GE's Test Facility in Erie, Pennsylvania, and No. 2003 to the Transportation Technology Center test facility in Pueblo, Colorado. Only No. 2001 was given the MBTA paint scheme; the other two test units were unpainted.

On April 16, 2014, No. 2001 entered revenue service, with its first round trip taking place on the Haverhill Line.[11] As of October 2015, 36 of the 40 locomotives are in service.[12] En route to the MBTA, the locomotives were sent to the Providence & Worcester Railroad, which is subcontracted to MPI to prepare the units for revenue service.[12]

In August 2014, MPI discovered that some traction motor bearings had been shipped improperly to their factory, causing early failures. Locomotives already delivered to the MBTA were repaired on-site, while half of the locomotives were redirected to Altoona Works during delivery for replacement bearings to be installed. The issues were not disclosed to the press until January 2015.[13] While the repairs were performed under warranty at no cost to the MBTA, they constituted an additional delay that prevented some of the units from entering service before the end of 2015. The multiple delays and early mechanical issues have raised concern from industry commentators about the MBTA's procurement process and the overall quality of the locomotives.[13]

Despite multiple repairs and modified, the HSP46s have continued to experience mechanical problems. Turbochargers failed in several locomotives beginning in Fall 2016, and will have to be replaced fleet-wide.[14] Fleet availability fell to 27 of 40 in early April 2017.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Boston orders MotivePower HSP46 diesels". Railway Gazette International. July 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "The New General Electric GEVO-Engine for Tier2-Locomotive Application" (PDF). FEV Spectrum (25). February 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 10, 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Vantuono, William C. (9 December 2014). "Boston barnstormer". Railway Age. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Wabtec's MotivePower Unit Signs Contract With MBTA For New Passenger Locomotives". PR Newswire. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  5. ^ Vantuono, William C. (August 21, 2015). "Cesar Vergara recipient of Railway Age Graham Claytor Award". Railway Age. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Little, Sherry E. (November 14, 2008). "Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority - November 14, 2008". Federal Transit Administration.
  7. ^ Shea, Padraig B. (November 15, 2008). "MBTA request federal funds is rejected". The Boston Globe.
  8. ^ a b Gaffin, Adam. "New loco look for MBTA". Universal Hub. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "MBTA approves $150m of upgrades to commuter rail". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Board Meeting Agenda". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  11. ^ LaBella, Mike (April 15, 2014). "New train headed to city tomorrow". Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "The MBTA Vehicle Inventory Page". NETransit. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  13. ^ a b Robinson, Walter V. (21 January 2015). "Flaws sideline MBTA's new commuter rail locomotives: Commuter rail vehicles costing $222m need repairs on bearings". Boston Globe. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  14. ^ Mohl, Bruce (March 27, 2017). "Keolis plagued by train, coach issues". CommonWealth Magazine. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  15. ^ Dungca, Nicole (April 8, 2017). "Commuter rail locomotives plagued by gear failure". Boston Globe. Retrieved April 30, 2017.

External links

Media related to MPI HSP46 locomotives at Wikimedia Commons