Amtrak to buy new locomotives
Rendering of new locomotive being purchased by Amtrak. (Amtrak)
Amtrak plans to add 70 new electric locomotives to its fleet in an effort to improve service along the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak officials said Friday.
The company awarded a $466 million six-year contract to Siemens to build the locomotives -- a move that will also create 250 jobs in Sacramento, Calif., and at plants in Ohio and Georgia, Amtrak officials said.
Joseph Boardman, president and chief executive office for Amtrak, said the new locomotives will be more reliable and allow the company to meet the needs of a growing ridership. Boardman said the first of the locomotives will be delivered in February 2013 and have the ability to operate at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor from Washington to Boston and up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa.
"Amtrak's order for 70 new electric locomotives will not only create new manufacturing jobs, it supports the Department of Transportation's strategy to use transportation to build the infrastructure needed to support a modern growing economy," said Joseph C. Szabo, federal railroad administrator. "This new equipment will go far in meeting the rapidly growing demand for intercity passenger rail service in the Northeast."
The new locomotives are more environmentally friendly, Amtrak officials said, and also meet the latest federal safety regulations. The locomotives include not-yet-required crash energy management components like anti-climbing technology and push-back couplers designed to keep the train upright and on the tracks in the event of a collision.
-- Jennifer Buske
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