Monday, April 30, 2012

Amtrak updates fleet strategy plan

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Amtrak on Monday publicly unveiled its Amtrak Fleet Strategy Plan Version 3.1, an 82-page document designed to explain Amtrak's desire to implement a systematic approach to replacing the carrier's aged rolling stock and locomotive fleet.

"This strategy provides Amtrak with a flexible and adaptable approach to fleet management and will deliver an enhanced product to satisfy the expectations, wants and needs of our customers," said President and CEO Joe Boardman.

Boardman (pictured at right) said the plan seeks to replace and supplement the current Amtrak fleet in tiered procurements through 2023. The plan was developed with input from all Amtrak departments and is in alignment with the company's broader strategic plan and goals.joseph boardman 2012

At present, Amtrak has placed a $466 million order for 70 new electric locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace the entire electric locomotive fleet now operating on the Northeast and Keystone Corridors. Delivery is expected to begin in 2014. A $298 million order for 130 single-level long-distance passenger cars has been placed with CAF USA, with production units expected to begin in late 2013.

The company also is planning to order 40 additional Acela coaches to bolster existing passenger capacity on the Northeast Corridor, depending on the amount of federal support it gets in its fiscal year 2013 capital budget.

Amtrak says it also is heavily involved in and committed to the work of the Next Generation Equipment Committee, a partnership between Amtrak, the states, the Federal Railroad Administration and representatives of the rail industry. Established by Congress under Section 305 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, the committee has to date generated specifications for new corridor equipment, including a multi-level car, a single-level car, and a high-speed diesel locomotive. Amtrak says it will use these specifications in coming rounds of equipment procurement.