USA: Amtrak has awarded Siemens a ‘mid double-digit million dollar’ contract to enhance its traction power supply facility at Metuchen in New Jersey on the Washington, DC – New York – Boston Northeast Corridor.

Under the contract, Siemens is to deliver, install and commission two 30 MW converter units. It will also integrate its Sitras SFC multilevel traction converter into Amtrak’s existing 25 Hz power supply network to enable parallel operation with the existing converters at Metuchen.

The static converter is due to be commissioned in 2017. The project forms part of Amtrak’s work to enhance the NEC infrastructure in New Jersey between Trenton and New Brunswick to permit higher speeds for both Northeast Regional loco-hauled services and its premium Acela Express trains.

The Sitras SFC supplies single-phase traction power supply networks from three-phase utility grids. It consists of one converter that directly connects the two networks, converting three-phase AC voltage to a single-phase AC feed at a different frequency. Thanks to its multilevel capability, no transformer is required to feed the overhead contact wire, Siemens says.