Siemens Mobility has been awarded a €744 million contract to design and manufacture 75 Charger diesel-electric locomotives for Amtrak, the United States‘ National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
These 75 locomotives will replace and supplement Amtrak’s aging national network diesel locomotive fleet used on long-distance and state-supported routes. It also includes a multi-year Technical Support Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA). Delivery of the new locomotives will begin in summer, 2021, with passenger service starting in fall, 2021.
These locomotives will power trains used on lines that span the United States, both from north-to-south and east-to-west: Auto Train (Washington, DC to Orlando, FL), California Zephyr (Chicago, IL to San Francisco, CA), Capitol Limited (Washington, DC to Chicago, Illinois), Cardinal (New York, New York to Chicago, Illinois), City of New Orleans (Chicago, Illinois to New Orleans, Louisiana), Coast Starlight (Seattle, Washington to Los Angeles, California), Crescent (New York, New York to New Orleans, Louisiana), Empire Builder (Chicago, Illinois to Seattle, Washington), Lake Shore Limited (Boston, Massachusetts to Chicago, Illinois), Palmetto (New York, New York to Savannah, Georgia) Silver Star/Silver Meteor (New York, New York to Miami, Florida), Southwest Chief (Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California), Sunset Limited (New Orleans, Louisiana to Los Angeles, California) and Texas Eagle (Chicago, Illinois to San Antonio, Texas). All locomotives are expected to be in service by 2024.
“We’re proud and grateful to expand our relationship with Amtrak, a leader in the U.S. passenger rail transportation, which started nearly a decade ago with locomotives for the Northeast Corridor, connecting two of the U.S.’s largest cities, Washington, DC and New York, NY. We’re confident that the new locomotives will assist Amtrak in its mission to provide safe, world-class, environmentally-responsible technology for its passengers,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “The Chargers will provide enhanced passenger experience, greater availability and increased sustainability over the course of their lifecycle, improving Amtrak’s long-distance services and operating efficiencies.”
The Charger locomotive is one of the most popular passenger locomotives in North America today with more than 70 Chargers successfully transporting passengers throughout North America, traveling almost 5 million kilometers a year. They offer the latest safety systems including Crash Energy Management and U.S.-mandated Positive Train Control (PTC), which is a communication-based train control that results in greater efficiency. Capable of speeds up to 125 MPH, the new locomotives feature the QSK95 Cummins 4,400 horsepower-capable 16-cylinder engine, which increase capacity and result in greater availability. The Charger is lower-noise than the diesel engines it will be replacing and offers a streamlined design with smoother traction control. The quieter, smoother ride results in an improved experience for both operators and passengers.
The new locomotives are also more environmentally-responsible than their predecessors, providing the latest Tier 4 emissions technology, reducing nitrogen oxide by over 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent, compared to Tier 0 standard.
The locomotives are “Buy American-compliant,” and will be manufactured at Siemens Mobility’s North American rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, CA. The plant is powered by up to 80 percent renewable solar energy. The engines are manufactured by Cummins in its Seymour, Indiana plant.