Amtrak: New Equipment Brings New Challenges

Having worked into Washington D.C. Union Station from the South my entire Amtrak career as a locomotive engineer, I’m excited yet apprehensive about the acquisition of dual-power and battery-hybrid motive power and integrated trainsets from Siemens Mobility, because it’s going to require the type of commitment to maintenance and service that’s historically been haphazard at Amtrak, at best.

From Siemens: Amtrak’s Next-Gen Trainsets

Amtrak has awarded Siemens Mobility $3.4 billion in contracts to design, manufacture and provide technical support services and maintenance for 83 trainsets of two power configurations, with options for up to 130 additional trainsets. For Siemens, it is the company’s largest North American contract in history. For Amtrak, its total investment, with a long-term parts supply and service agreement, facility modifications and upgrades, and contingencies, is $7.3 billion. Deliveries are slated to commence in 2024.

SAFE TRAINS Act: Get On Board

The response from my previous article, “North America Rail Supply and China: Why We Should be Concerned,” has been overwhelming and supportive. Apparently, I ripped a Band-Aid off a topic that’s been unfolding and finally being realized by many over the past decade.

Now On Line: Railway Age’s July 2021 Digital Edition

The July 2021 issue of Railway Age is available digitally, with a midyear report on the state of the industry plus the 50th Annual Car & Locomotive Repair Directory.