Trains are fun. There is no other way to look at it than that. Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory) nailed it: “Ooh, I love trains!” They’re big, powerful, sleek, and beautiful to watch as they power past. And they can be highly efficient as well, as the 70 new Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) made by Siemens trains will be, soon to replace the 30-year-old locomotives on the Northeast Corridor and elsewhere.
“The new Amtrak locomotives will help power the economic future of the Northeast region, provide more reliable and efficient service for passengers and support the rebirth of rail manufacturing in America,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “Built on the West Coast for service in the Northeast with suppliers from many states, businesses and workers from across the country are helping to modernize the locomotive fleet of America’s Railroad.”
The new locomotives (PDF), built by Siemens at their Sacramento, California rail manufacturing plant, which itself is powered by renewable energy, will operate on the Northeast Regional line at speeds of up to 125 miles per hour on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), along the Washington–New York–Boston route, as well as on Keystone Service line on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg.
“More and more Americans are parking their cars and choosing the comfort and
convenience of trains, metros and streetcars as their preferred way of traveling. We’re proud of the innovations we’ve brought to passengers and commuters to expand their transportation options” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rail Systems division in the US. “From downtown streetcar systems to regional, passenger rail lines, Siemens’ transportation solutions like the next-generation Amtrak locomotives enhance safety, boost efficiency and performance, and are built in America leveraging Siemens’ US manufacturing hubs and supply chain.”
The first locomotives of the $466 million order will be field tested in the coming months and will hopefully be introduced into service later this year. The engines use regenerative braking that feeds energy back into the power grid and are designed for easier maintenance.
“We are committed to connecting people, communities and jobs. This project does all three,” said Karen Hedlund, Deputy Federal Railroad Administrator. “Investing in manufacturing these 70 new locomotives are creating and preserving jobs in 60 cities across the country while meeting the growing demand for improved reliability and service along the Northeast and Keystone Corridors.”
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