Final Siemens ACS-64 for Amtrak rolls out of Sacramento

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
70th loco employees shot

On Thursday, June 2, 2016, Amtrak and Siemens marked completion of the 70th and final Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotive at the Siemens rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif., when No. 670 rolled out of the plant, bound for the Northeast.

70th loco employees shot“The milestone marks the culmination of a more than five-year partnership as the final high-efficiency locomotive heads to the Northeast Corridor for commissioning and revenue service,” Siemens said. “The locomotive, built by Siemens in Sacramento with components from more than 60 U.S. suppliers, is part of a new fleet of 70 high-efficiency vehicles that have helped usher in a new era of mobility and improved performance and reliability along the heavily traveled Northeast and Keystone Corridors.”

Siemens employees spent an average of 7,000 hours building each locomotive, equaling nearly half a million total hours for all 70 ACS-64s. “The locomotives have been designed and built with advanced technology including a state-of-the-art microprocessor system that performs self-diagnosis of technical issues, and takes self-corrective action and notifies the locomotive engineer,” Siemens noted. “In addition, the energy efficient locomotives use a regenerative braking system to feed energy back into the power grid. Together, the locomotives could save over 3 billion kilowatt hours of energy and could result in more than $300 million in savings over their intended lifetime.”

The first ACS-64, No. 601, was unveiled at the Siemens manufacturing plant in 2013, followed by a rigorous testing program at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Transportation Technology Center (TTC) facility in Pueblo, Colo. The locomotive first entered revenue service in February 2014. Vice President Joe Biden was on-hand to mark the locomotive’s debut and emphasized the importance of next-generation rail transportation for the country’s infrastructure.

Amtrak 670The Sacramento manufacturing plant has been in operation for more than 30 years and employs nearly 1,000 people. The 583,000 square-foot rail plant has full manufacturing capabilities including design, engineering, testing, carshell, bogies, subassembly and final assembly. To meet growing demand for its passenger rail locomotive and coach technology, Siemens recently opened a new 125,000-square-foot expansion at the plant and has hired more than 100 employees during the past year, including more than 60 welders. The plant is currently engineering and building ACS-64 electric locomotives for SEPTA; diesel-electric Charger locomotives for the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington and Maryland; light rail vehicles for four cities; and higher-speed trainsets consisting of Charger locomotives and coaches for Florida’s Miami-Orlando Brightline service to be operated over Florida East Coast Railway trackage.

“We’ve been extremely honored to be a part of Amtrak’s core mission to connect cities and communities with efficient rail passenger rail service” said Michael Cahill, President of Siemens Rolling Stock. “Marking this important manufacturing milestone today, and our ability to produce these 70 locomotives ahead of schedule and on-budget is a testament to the strong partnership and collaboration between Siemens and Amtrak throughout the project. We will be proud to watch these workhorses continue to come to life on the Northeast Corridor.”

“Amtrak is integral to the daily life of the Northeast and our new locomotives will keep the people and businesses of the region connected and on the move,” said Joseph Boardman, President and CEO of Amtrak, who plans to retire in September. “These new locomotives deliver the reliable and efficient Amtrak service our passengers depend on as well as support the growth of the region.”






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