News

Amtrak plans to replace dozens of aging trains in coming years—will cost nearly $7.3 billion

Amtrak plans to spend $7.3 billion to replace 83 passenger trains, some of which are nearly a half-century old.

The railroad says it is contracting with a unit of Siemens AG of Germany to build the trains at a factory in California. Amtrak says some of the trains will be diesel/electric hybrids. The trains, scheduled to begin running in 2024, will go to lines including in New York and New England.  They’ll have more comfortable seating, better ventilation systems, individual power outlets and USB ports, and onboard WiFi.

The railroad has an option to buy 130 additional trains from Siemens. The new trains will have more comfortable seating, better ventilation systems, individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard WiFi, and panoramic windows. Amtrak CEO William Flynn says they’ll pollute far less than the older trains when operating in diesel mode.

The trains will go to lines in New York, New England, California, the Northwest, Virginia and elsewhere. The railroad has an option to buy 130 additional trains from Siemens. Siemens says the first delivery will be in 2024 to the Cascades line in the northwest, with the rest continuing through 2030. Manufacturing will start in 2023. Amtrak says money will come from about $200 million already approved by Congress, as well as future funding that has to be approved.

“We expect that we will have annual funding for our portion of the train sets,” he said. “If there should be a moment in time when that money isn’t specifically available, we have the ability to finance the units as well,” Flynn said. That money would be repaid by states with trains, and passenger fares, he said. Amtrak’s board has approved up to $4.9 billion for equipment, parts and service and $2 billion to modify its facilities. Initially Amtrak will buy 73 trains and a 20-year parts and service agreement for about $3.4 billion.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WHNT.COM

Leave a Reply