Amtrak is contracting with California-based Siemens Mobility Inc. to manufacture a new fleet of up to 83 multi-powered modern trains that will be leveraged for state and northeast services, with further options for up to 130 additional trains to support Amtrak growth plans. The new fleet will offer modern rail amenities that better serve Amtrak customers.
“These new trains will reshape the future of rail travel by replacing our aging 40-to-50-year old fleet with state-of-the-art, American-made equipment,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while deeply reducing criteria pollutants.”
The new equipment will operate on the Northeast Corridor, long distance Palmetto and various state-supported routes that will replace Amtrak-owned Amfleet, Metroliner, and state-owned equipment on certain routes throughout the country. In addition to the Northeast Regional, other routes will include the Adirondack, Carolinian, Cascades, Downeaster, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone Service, Maple Leaf, New Haven/Springfield Service (Amtrak Hartford Line and Valley Flyer), Pennsylvanian, Vermonter and Virginia Services.
The $7.3 billion investment includes the purchase of equipment and a long-term parts supply and service agreement, facility modifications and upgrades, and other program expenses.
A long-term service agreement for technical support, spare parts and material supply will accompany the contract to manufacture the trains. The new trains include remote monitoring and fully integrated digital diagnostics for increased reliability. These advanced features will enable Amtrak to test and develop new technology and introduce new maintenance approaches to drive efficiency, increase availability and reduce long term costs.
“These new trains, some of which will be our first hybrid battery operations in the United States, will transform the way Americans travel. Offering a more sustainable and comfortable travel experience, they will be built for excellence and built with pride in Sacramento, California,” stated Michael Cahill, President of Siemens Mobility, Rolling Stock in North America. “Over the past decade, we’ve worked closely with Amtrak and its state partners to develop and deliver trains that meet the needs of America’s travelers, these next generation trainsets build on that experience and offer much more.”
The latest trains will feature more comfortable seating, individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi, enhanced lighting and panoramic windows, larger vestibules, a more contemporary food service experience, including self-service options, as well as state-of-the-art customer trip information, digital seat reservation system and navigation display systems. The trains were designed with the latest health and safety standards, including enhanced HVAC, touchless restroom controls, and automated steps. The trains meet all the latest safety regulations and standards, providing improved structural safety. With expanded capacity and the ability to shorten trip time, Amtrak expects the new equipment to add over 1.5 million riders, annually.
Using multi-power systems, including hybrid battery operation for a portion of the fleet used for New York’s Empire Service, these trains will also provide a substantial environmental benefit through reduced criteria pollutants compared to the existing fleet. They will be designed with Amtrak’s new standard of enhanced accessible features, including inductive hearing loops, accessible restrooms and vestibules, an accessible Food Service car, and lifts for customers with reduced mobility, including wheelchair users.
The trains will be manufactured at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California, and will comply with the Federal Railroad Administration Buy America Standards. The facility is celebrating its 30th anniversary of operations this year as it continues to add to its more than 2,100 team members. It is one of the largest plants of its kind on the continent, and also one of the most sustainable, using a 2.1 MW solar panel installation to provide the majority of its power coming from the strong, reliable Californian sun. Siemens Mobility designs and manufactures across the entire spectrum of rolling stock including passenger trains, light rail and streetcars, locomotives, and passenger coaches in Sacramento.