With demand for Amtrak service at record levels, Amtrak will acquire new mainline passenger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace its aging National Network locomotive fleet. These initial 75 locomotives will be used principally for Amtrak’s Long Distance train service, with options to purchase more, for use on some State Supported routes and for future growth.
“These new locomotives will offer increased reliability, more hauling power, improved safety features and lower emissions,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson.
“Siemens Mobility is honored and grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity to assist Amtrak in their mission to provide safe, world-class, environmentally conscious technology for their long-distance services,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Mobility’s North America rolling stock business.
The new locomotives will offer the latest safety systems including Crash Energy Management and Positive Train Control. Capable of speeds up to 125 MPH, the locomotives will have 4,400 horsepower capable 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 diesel engines with modern control systems and Alternating Current (AC) propulsion. The diesel engine will come equipped with the latest Tier 4 emissions technology, reducing nitrogen oxide by over 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent, and provide an average of 10 percent savings in diesel fuel consumption.
Delivery of the new locomotives will begin in summer 2021, with passenger service beginning in fall 2021. They will power trains used on the Auto Train, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. All locomotives are expected to be in service by 2024. Maintenance activities across the network will be supported by a supplemental multiyear Technical Support Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA).
Amtrak is paying for the new locomotives through available funds and will comply with Buy American provisions. They will be built at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California, a facility which uses solar power and employs more than 1,300 people.
Siemens Mobility has established a robust and diverse base of U.S. suppliers across the country to support the production of its current Charger diesel locomotives, including Cummins, which manufactures its engines in its Seymour, Indiana, facility.
Siemens Mobility’s Charger locomotives are currently operating in several state-supported Amtrak routes in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, and Washington.
The new locomotives will primarily replace the aging Amtrak P40 and P42 locomotives, some of which have been in service for more than 25 years.
The new locomotives are part of Amtrak’s long-term planned series of improvements for fleet, infrastructure, and stations. Other modern equipment includes new Acela trainsets arriving in 2021 and ongoing improvements continue at New York Penn Station and new construction at Moynihan Train Hall, in addition to expanded development of the major stations at Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.