Yesterday, Amtrak announced it awarded a six-year, $466 million contract to Siemens to provide 70 new electric locomotives that will operate on the railroad’s Northeast intercity passenger-rail services. The units will replace locomotives that are between 20 and 30 years old.
Scheduled to be delivered beginning in February 2013, the Amtrak Cities Sprinter ACS-64 locomotives will operate at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston, and up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa.
As the new locomotives enter service, the railroad plans to first retire 20 DC AEM-7 electric locomotives, followed by 29 AC AEM-7 units and 15 HHP-8 locomotives. The additional units will support anticipated service expansion, according to Amtrak.
The locomotives will include crash energy management components, such as crash anti-climbing technology and push-back couplers designed to keep the train upright, inline and on the tracks if a collision occurs.
The locomotive purchase is part of Amtrak’s fleet strategy announced earlier this year that calls for replacing aging and outdated locomotives and passenger cars to improve operations, attract more riders, reduce maintenance costs and delays, improve on-time performance and expand service on current and new routes.
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