Amtrak Southwest Chief at East Keota

USA: National passenger operator Amtrak has issued a request for information to potential suppliers of rolling stock to replace the vehicles used on 14 overnight routes including the Auto Train, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder and Southwest Chief.

During December ‘as many as 10’ manufacturers were asked to submit ideas for the replacement of more than 800 Superliner I and II, Viewliner I and II and Amfleet II cars supplied over the past 40 years and now reaching the end of their service lives.

‘Purchasing new long-distance train cars will allow Amtrak to upgrade and modernise the iconic and vital overnight services that link our nation’s major regions’, said Amtrak Chair Tony Coscia on January 19.

‘We are looking for new trains that improve safety, reliability, accessibility and efficiency while offering the features our customers believe are most important to modernising overnight train travel for the 21st century.’

Funding for the future order is being provided through the federal Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, with a formal procurement request planned for later this year.

The request for information ‘represents the final phase in our long-term plan to replace our trains — beginning with new Acela equipment and continuing with the Amtrak Airo trains announced last month’, said Coscia. ‘We believe in the future of our long distance service and we look forward to enhancing the customer experience across the Amtrak network, and further supporting US manufacturing.’