The EMD F59PH series of locomotives comprises two variants of locomotives built by EMD, the original F59PH and the newer F59PHI. These modern Diesel-electric locomotives are popular among North American commuter rail services.
Two F59PH locomotives owned by GO Transit at Oakville station. GO has since discontinued the majority of these locomotives but a handful remain in regular service. Several ex-GO units are now operated by other services.
The F59PH was the first in the "F59" Series of locomotives. Eighty-three locomotives were built from May 1988 to May 1994 for two commuter transit railroads, Metrolink of Los Angeles, California, USA and GO Transit of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While Metrolink continues to use these locomotives today, in 2008, GO Transit began discontinuing operations using this locomotive in favour of the new MPI MP40PH-3C.:159 Only eight locomotives that were refurbished in 2011 remain in service.
This locomotive is equipped with a turbocharged EMD 12-710G3A, a 12-cylinder, two-stroke Diesel engine (prime mover), front and rear platforms, a full-width cab with a three-piece windshield. Earlier EMD cowl-type locomotives had used a two-piece windshield, while the Canadian comfort cab used a four-piece design.:159
The F59PH is still used today, mainly on commuter railroads.
Company leases units to commuter operators. Currently units 18520, 18522 & 18533 are leased to Metrolink, to replace engines out of service for installation of positive train control equipment. Some units are scheduled to be used on the proposed SEMCOG Commuter Rail.
First built in 1994, the locomotive is a 3,200 hp (2.4 MW) B-B diesel-electric locomotive intended for service on North American mainlines. This locomotive is equipped with a turbocharged EMD 12-710G3C-EC, a 12-cylinder, 2 stroke diesel engine (prime mover). The main (traction) alternator converts mechanical energy from the prime mover into electrical energy that is distributed through a high voltage cabinet to direct current traction motors. Each of the four traction motors is directly geared to a pair of driving wheels. The gear ratio of the traction motors (model D87BTR) to wheel axle determines the maximum operating speed of the locomotive; a standard F59PHI has a gear ratio of 56:21 which provides a top speed of 110 miles per hour (180 km/h).
The F59PHI has a fully enclosed carbody which provides protected walkways for easy access to the engine room and trailing units. This arrangement allows routine maintenance while the locomotive is in service. The noteworthy aspect of this locomotive's exterior is the use of composites to present a streamlined appearance.
To supply electrical power for passenger service, the F59PHI is equipped with a secondary electrical generator referred to as the Head End Power (HEP) unit. The head-end generator generates AC power at 480 V, 60 Hz AC, and can be rated between 500 and 750 kW (670 and 1,010 hp) to provide power to the passenger carriages for lighting, electric heating, and air conditioning. The head-end generator is powered by a second diesel engine dedicated to it. With this arrangement, the prime mover is not burdened by head-end power generation and consequently is used solely for supplying tractive effort.
When it debuted for Caltrans in late 1994, the F59PHI was the first locomotive in the United States which met California's stringent emission standards.
Examples of the F59PHI are currently operated by these companies:
On February 24, 2015, Metrolink locomotive #870 was pushing (the locomotive was located at the rear) a passenger train that struck a vehicle obstructing the line at Oxnard, California and was derailed. One person was killed and 29 were injured.