Amtrak will acquire new mainline passenger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace part of its aging 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. Amtrak provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities.
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 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 diesel engines capable of 4400 hp that offer 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% and particulate matter by 95%, and provide an average of 10% savings in diesel fuel consumption, Amtrak said.
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 1300 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.