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SEPTA’s first new electric locomotive has pulled into Philly

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Rides on the new whip will roll out in 2018

The first of 15 electric locomotives has arrived in Philly.
via SEPTA

Christmas has come early, dear commuters: SEPTA has a new, electrifying whip that’s supposed to make for smoother and safer rides.

SEPTA announced this week that it received its first new electric locomotive by Siemens, after it traveled some 2,700 miles from California. It’s the first of 15 locomotives that will replace older electric-run trains, that, as SEPTA puts it, “have exceeded their useful life.”

The delivery came just in time as SEPTA celebrated the 125th anniversary of when the city’s first electric trolley debuted on December 15, 1892.

The delivery comes after SEPTA awarded a $118 million contract with Siemens in 2015. Not only are they faster, but they’ll also let SEPTA increase its rider capacity.

For passengers, the perks will include faster, safer rides. The electric trains are similar to the ones used by Amtrak. Studies have shown that those locomotives have reduced delay incidents by 25 percent and delay times by 30 percent.

There’s no definite date when the rides on the new trains will be available, but expect service to start sometime in early 2018 on the Regional Rail, including Lansdale-Doylestown, Paoli-Thorndale, and Wilmington-Newark commuter lines.