Amtrak announced Aug. 21 that it has executed a contract to order 10 additional Airo™ trainsets “as demand for passenger rail travel exceeds expectations,” bringing the total contract order to 83.
The first Amtrak Airo™ trainset is scheduled to debut in 2026 on the railroad’s Casacde service before eventually operating on routes throughout the country, including Northeast Regional, Empire Service, Virginia Services, Keystone Services, Downeaster, Maple Leaf, New Haven/Springfield Service, Palmetto, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Vermonter, Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack.
“We are thrilled to satisfy the soaring demand for train travel with new state-of-the-art, American-made equipment that ensures the highest standards of comfort, service and amenities,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “As we advance this vision, we’re committed to getting people where they need to go, while reducing road and air congestion, creating jobs and supporting the American economy.”
Currently in production, Amtrak says the new trains will feature:
- “Spacious, Comfortable Seats: Loaded with features and improvements, including dedicated power, USB-C ports, seatback tablet and phone holders, bigger and sturdier tray tables and adjustable cup holders; contoured seat cushions, enhanced leg room, individual arm rests and adjustable headrests – all with a focus on ergonomics.
- “Trip and Train Navigation: Bolder, color-coded signage to identify amenities and differentiate classes of service, both on board and on the platform.
- “Greener Impact: More fuel efficient, producing 90% less particulate emissions in diesel operations; dedicated water stations on each trainset, providing chilled and filtered hydration, while reducing the need for disposable plastic bottles.
- “Modern Tech: New 5G Wi-Fi and digital information systems.
- “Enhanced Accessibility: Spacious and accessible restrooms, vestibules and Caf√© cars with integrated boarding equipment for customers with reduced mobility; inductive hearing technology to assist with onboard announcements.
- “Cafe Car: Contemporary food service allows for a grab-and-go experience.
- “Restrooms: Touchless with spacious, accessible interiors.
- “Business Class: Increased space between customers, offering double and single seats, wider arm rests, additional outlets, footrests and improved ambiance.
- “Lighting: Enhanced lighting provides a softer yet functional interior with individual reading lights at each seat.
- “Luggage: Access to ample storage space for baggage.”
Amtrak awarded Siemens Mobility $3.4 billion in contracts in July 2021 to design, manufacture and provide technical support services and maintenance for 83 trainsets of three power configurations, with options for up to 130 additional trainsets. A share of the railroad’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding will support the procurement of the Amtrak Airo™, said Amtrak, whose total $7.3 billion investment includes the purchase of equipment and long-term parts supply and service agreement, facility modifications and upgrades, and other program expenses.
More information is available here.