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All Aboard Florida contracts Siemens to build passenger trains

All Aboard Florida has selected Siemens to build the locomotives and passenger coaches for its intercity passenger-rail line that will connect south and central Florida, the companies announced yesterday.

The trainsets will include Siemens' diesel-electric Charger locomotives and feature modern single-level intercity passenger cars that will be manufactured in the United States.

The partnership represents a "tremendous step forward" for the project, said All Aboard Florida President and Chief Operating Officer Don Robinson in a press release.

"We carefully chose Siemens technology knowing it will set a new industry standard," he said.

All Aboard Florida purchased an initial five trainsets to serve the Miami-to-West Palm Beach segment that include two diesel-electric locomotives, one on each end of four passenger coaches. The locomotives will meet the highest federal emissions standards, the companies said. The contract's dollar value was not disclosed.

The trains will be built at Siemens' plant in Sacramento, Calif., with main components coming from Siemens' plants throughout the United States, including traction motors and gearboxes from Norwood, Ohio, and propulsion containers from Alpharetta, Ga. The diesel engines will be manufactured by Cummins at its plant in Seymour, Ind. The trains will be maintained and serviced in West Palm Beach and Orlando. The stainless steel passenger coaches will feature ergonomic seating, Wi-Fi service and level boarding.

All Aboard Florida plans to expand the initial trainsets to seven coaches and purchase an additional five trainsets, concurrent with environmental approvals and additional financing for the segment between West Palm Beach and Orlando International Airport.

When completed, All Aboard Florida will be the first privately owned, operated and maintained passenger-rail system in the United States. Trains will operate at maximum speeds up to 125 mph.

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