Amtrak has announced that it has awarded $3.4 billion in contracts to Siemens Mobility.
The historic deal sees German Tech giants Siemens win the huge contract to design, produce and provide long-term technical support for 73 dual-powered and Venture hybrid battery trains.
The innovative technology will bring a sustainable and reliable train that includes predictive technology with real-time digital monitoring, wireless communication and digital diagnostics.
The units will provide increased capacity, reduced carbon emissions and faster journey times which is expected to add a further 1.5 million passengers per year.
The sophisticated technology will allow Amtrak to assess and advance new approaches in maintenance such as drive efficiency, and increased availability which in turn will reduce long-term costs.
Other positives for passengers to look forward to are more comfortable seating, individual power points, USB ports, onboard Wifi, improved lighting, panoramic windows, contemporary food service including self-service choices, the latest passenger journey information, digital seat reservation and navigation display systems.
Designs also facilitate the latest health and safety requirements such as enhanced HVAC touch-less toilet controls and automated steps.
Accessibility is also on the design agenda with inductive hearing loops, mobility friendly toilets and vestibules, an accessible food service carriage and lifts to support those with reduced mobility.
Amtrak operates nearly all intercity passenger trains in the United States of America and also to nine Canadian cities, serving more than 500 destinations through 46 state,s and three Canadian provinces which involves the operation of over 300 trains a day over 21,400 miles of track.
Amtrak is modernising U.S. rail travel and is looking to acquire the most sustainable and efficient trains available including dual power and hybrid battery units.
The trains will operate throughout the Northeast Corridor and across multiple state-supported routes such as Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Production will take place at Siemens Mobility North American rail manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California which employs more than 2,100 staff making it one of the largest plants of its kind.
The 30-year-old facility is focused on being sustainable using a 2.1 MWp solar panel installation to create most of its power from the sun. The dual power trains are expected to be delivered during 2024 with the innovative hybrid battery units being tested from 2025.
Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn, says: “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. This investment is essential to preserving Northeast Regional and state-supported services for the future and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while reducing carbon emissions.”
Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter, says: “These trains will offer Amtrak and its passengers the latest in sustainable and intelligent rail technology. We believe hybrid battery and dual powered trains will play an important role in reducing emissions and protecting the environment in the United States. In addition, through our digital services, Amtrak will receive real-time information about vehicle operations, allowing them to ensure that their passengers arrive safely and efficiently. Amtrak’s investment illustrates America’s commitment to enhancing its rail systems, offering passengers a more sustainable option for travel.”
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