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Amtrak yesterday unveiled a $7.3 billion plan to purchase new passenger-rail cars and locomotives, upgrading a fleet that’s nearly 50 years old.
Siemens Mobility Inc. will manufacture up to 83 multipowered modern trains that will be leveraged for state and northeast services, with further options for up to 130 additional trains to support growth plans, Amtrak officials said in a press release.
"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 Chief Executive Officer 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 $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 with Siemens to manufacture the trains, which will be manufactured at the company's plant in Sacramento, California.
The new trains will include remote monitoring and fully integrated digital diagnostics for increased reliability. These advanced features will enable the railroad to test and develop new technology and introduce new maintenance approaches to drive efficiency, increase availability and reduce long-term costs, Amtrak officials said.
The new trains will operate on the Northeast corridor, long-distance Palmetto and various state-supported routes that will replace Amtrak’s Amfleet, Metroliner and state-owned equipment on certain routes.
Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose said Amtrak’s procurement of the new rolling stock is historic.
"These state-of-the-art trainsets will allow Amtrak to operate and provide services more safely, efficiently and reliably," said Bose. "More importantly, doing so will give riders the modern passenger rail accommodations, amenities and comforts they want and deserve."
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.