MARC Green Trains Announcement
May 6, 2009
Good afternoon – and thanks for joining us.
Two centuries after Thomas Jefferson declared that the introduction of the steam powered locomotive would, quote “make a great change in the situation of man,” we’re here today to announce that we’re investing in the next generation of cleaner, greener locomotives for the MARC system… Trains which are part of a new wave of cleaner vehicles which carry the same potential to improve the human condition in our own times, as the advent of the steam powered train had in Jefferson’s.
Sustainability – particularly our ability to combat global climate change and advance green technology – is one of the defining issues of our times. We’ve made putting our State on a “more sustainable track,” so to speak, a key priority of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, where we’ve set goals to create 100,000 green jobs by 2015, convert our MTA bus fleet to 100% hybrid by 2014, and have at least 40% of our state vehicle purchases be hybrid or alternative fuel by 2010.
And working together as One Maryland these past two years, we’ve set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing energy consumption, we’ve passed landmark clean cars legislation, and together we’ve created incentives to help homeowners and businesses make use of green energy.
New Efficient MARC Locomotives
Today’s announcement furthers these efforts to put our State on the right track.
With a combination of federal and state dollars, we’re investing in 26 new, cleaner, more fuel efficient locomotives for the MARC system – the first of which will enter service in 4 to 6 weeks. These trains, which replace vintage diesels from the 1970’s, emit 42% less nitrous oxide, 70% less carbon monoxide, and 67% less particulates.
They are more fuel efficient, they are capable of pulling longer trains, and commuters will be pleased to know that they will improve reliability – which means fewer breakdowns, and therefore fewer delays. Behind the new locomotive here today is one of the 13 double deck passenger cars we just purchased to increase MARC capacity and provide a better ride for commuters.
As an Administration, we are committed to the MARC system, and in the past two years we’ve invested $160 million in MARC for important priorities like safety upgrades, facilities improvements, and parking expansion.
Senator Mikulski Dedication
Before I close, I have one more announcement to make,… As I mentioned, our investments in these new locomotives have only been possible because of funds we’re receiving from the federal government – $79 million of the $100 million purchase price, to be exact.
We wouldn’t be receiving this funding without Senator Barbara Mikulski, who once again fought hard – and won – federal investments in Maryland which are making our State stronger. No one has been a greater champion for Maryland and for the goals we share for a stronger, more sustainable future for our State.
And so, it is my honor to announce the naming of this train we traveled in on – the first of these new locomotives – in her honor.
Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the “Senator Barb Go Green Express!”