The MBTA plans to spend $115 million on 20 new commuter rail locomotives officials say will improve service and save money.
The purchase approved Wednesday by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s board will allow the T to retire some of its current locomotives, some of which are more than 30 years old and are blamed for about half of all service delays.
The new locomotives will burn less fuel and emit fewer pollutants. They are expected to be in service by 2013. Officials say the federal government is expected to pick up about 80 percent of the price.
The commuter rail service carries about 70,000 people per day.
T General Manager Richard Davey says the new locomotives will give the agency more flexibility in scheduling.