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Technical and Rolling Stock

Technical and Rolling Stock

Amtrak At Last Looking to Renew or Upgrade Locomotives

From Amtrak Press release:

Amtrak to Improve National Network Locomotive Fleet

New or rebuilt locomotives will provide more reliable service, a smoother ride and improved safety features

WASHINGTON – With demand for Amtrak service at record levels, Amtrak is moving to either acquire new locomotives or rebuild its current diesel fleet of locomotives to supplement and replace its aging National Network diesel locomotive fleet used on Long Distance and some State Supported routes.

In a Request for Proposals (RFP), Amtrak is seeking to rebuild its current diesel fleet or purchase a minimum of 50 to 75 next-generation locomotives, with options to rebuild or acquire additional units. The locomotives will offer the latest safety features, have more horsepower, and the lowest emissions possible.

“Our diesel locomotive fleet is nearing the end of life expectancy and we must act now to modernize Amtrak for the future,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson. “We expect that any new, state-of-the art locomotive will offer improved reliability, a smoother ride, improved safety features and make major contributions towards lowering emissions and we’ll also consider how rebuilding options of the current fleet could achieve these goals.”

The rebuilt or new locomotives will primarily replace Amtrak’s aging P40 and P42 locomotives, some of which have been in service for more than 25 years. As part of the contract award for the locomotives, Amtrak will also seek to enter into a multi-year Technical Support, Spares and Supply Agreement to ensure an optimal and cost-effective maintenance strategy.

Amtrak is working aggressively to make immediate changes to the customer experience with improvements including refreshed trains, new fare structures, improved on-time performance, enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity, upgraded facilities and expanded onboard experience options.

Additionally, the rebuilt or new locomotives are part of Amtrak’s long-term upgrades that include buying modern equipment, including new Acela trainsets; ongoing improvements at New York Penn Station and the new Moynihan Train Hall; and further development of stations in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia.

A link to the RFP can be found here.

About Amtrak®

Amtrak offers a more comfortable and convenient travel experience with free Wi-Fi on most trains, plenty of leg room and no middle seat. With our state and commuter partners, we move people, the economy and the nation forward, carrying more than 30 million Amtrak customers for each of the past seven years. Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces, and reaches 400 additional destinations via connecting bus routes. Learn more at Amtrak.com.

We’ve only been waiting for about 20 years.  it will be interesting to see what level of emission controls they will get from rebuilt P42s.  At least some of the will likely go to Siemens at Sacramento for Charger diesels but at $7 million each they won;t get many for their money.  I also hope that they will incorporate the emissions systems developed by Rail Propulsion Systems in Fullerton.  Go California!

pdyson@railpac.org