Story at a glance
- Amtrak announced a new investment of more than $7 billion in revamping its railways.
- Working with Siemens Mobility, Amtrak will introduce 73 new trains with upgraded, sustainable engines and amenities.
- The company has a larger, 15-year plan to connect more urban areas in its railway network.
On Wednesday, train company Amtrak announced a new partnership with infrastructure company Siemens Mobility to develop and implement a brand new fleet of 83 trains to be run across the northeastern U.S. in a major modern update.
Amtrak is a national railway company with its headquarters based at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
The new fleet aims to further the company’s expansion goals of connecting 25 states with new or updated railways over the next 15 years. This batch will help continue connecting Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
“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,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn. “This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while deeply reducing criteria pollutants.”
Siemens Mobility is a branch of Siemens, an industrial manufacturing company based in Germany. The organization has projects in infrastructure, health care and energy, with Siemens Mobility focusing specifically on rail and infrastructure digitization, electrification and automation.
Out of the entire $7.3 billion spent on new rail updates, Siemens Mobility will be given $3.4 billion in contracts with Amtrak for 73 multi-powered trains, featuring dual-powered and hybrid battery 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,” Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility said. “Amtrak’s investment illustrates America’s commitment to enhancing its rail systems, offering passengers a more sustainable option for travel.”
Replacing traditional combustion engines with updated sustainable engines is expected to increase fuel efficiency among the trains, improve overall operations and lower carbon emissions.
Other cosmetic amenities include comfortable seating options, more power outlets, onboard WiFi, better lighting, panoramic windows, self-service food options and navigation displays. The trains themselves will be manufactured out of Siemens’s Sacramento, Calif., facility.
This announcement comes alongside President Biden’s campaign to generate bipartisan support for his infrastructure bill, which would invest in expanding and modernizing existing railway infrastructure into new communities and metropolitan regions.
Amtrak’s plan seemingly falls in line with President Biden’s agenda. The rail company aims to building new stations in communities including Phoenix; Cheyenne, Wy.; Duluth, Minn.; Columbus, Ohio; Nashville and further enhance existing services.
The company boasts that its plan will help reduce the carbon footprint brought on by transportation and create more than half a million jobs as it works to expand its countrywide railway network.