Most of the locomotive story is good news -- it was a good decision to purchase 4 engines even though just 2 are needed for the 2 trainsets in day to day service. Conn DOT is allowing for a third engine to cover when another one rotates into periodic maintenance, plus a fourth engine in case one of these old GP's has extended downtime. Also good news to hear that the 3 engines needed initially will all be ready by late May.
So you have to wonder -- why is Conn DOT spinning the PR story to make it appear that locomotive availability is the problem preventing the planned May startup of service? Could it be they want to distract us from the real problem: The last minute lease of the 16 coaches ? Conn DOT knew in early 2016 that shifting cars from the Shore Line East line to the Hartford line would not be possible. And by June, 2016 they had identified the Massachusetts MBTA cars as the best alternative to the SLE cars. The problem is -- it then took them another 18 months, until last December, to actually sign a lease for those cars. I think they will have some explaining to do.
Ironically, another state (New York) is currently having the same problem, inability to get Conn DOT to agree on a lease. New York needs several of Connecticut's retired FL9 engines to cover Empire Service into Grand Central Terminal this summer while Amtrak has the usual route into Penn Station down for repairs. Conn DOT is getting nothing out of these engines, they have been sitting idle, gathering rust in New Haven for almost 10 years now. Yet, they won't sign a lease with New York, presumably because they don't think NY is offering enough money. So instead of getting less cash, Conn will get no cash, and NY may need to cut back Empire Service all summer unless an alternate can be found.