Amtrak Siemens train impression

USA: Amtrak has awarded Siemens Mobility contracts to supply 73 trainsets including electro-diesel and diesel-battery hybrid vehicles to operate medium-distance inter-city routes.

‘These new trains will reshape the future of rail travel by replacing our ageing 40 to 50 year old fleet with state-of-the-art, American-made equipment’, explained Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn on July 7.

Siemens Mobility had been named preferred bidder for the package in April. The initial order is valued at $3·4bn, including a long-term service agreement covering technical support, spare parts and material supplies.

It includes 50 electro-diesel sets and 15 diesel-battery sets, with the rest being EPA Tier 4 compliant diesels capable of using biodiesel fuel. The batteries can be charged from regenerated braking energy, the diesel engine or an external supply. 

There are options for up to 140 more trainsets and further maintenance agreements.

The trains are intended to operate on the Northeast Corridor and various state-supported routes including those in Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. Amtrak said it expects the increased capacity and ability to shorten trip times to increase ridership by more than 1·5 million passengers/year.

‘This investment is essential to preserving Northeast Regional and state-supported services for the future and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while reducing carbon emissions’, said Flynn.

The first of the trains is due to be delivered in 2024, while the first Venture Hybrid battery train will begin testing in 2025. The trains for the Northeast Corridor and state-supported routes are all due to be delivered by 2030, replacing life-expired Amfleet I single-deck coaches dating from the 1970s.

Onboard facilities

Siemens Mobility said the trains would feature comfortable seating with individual power outlets and USB ports, as well as wi-fi, enhanced lighting, panoramic windows and passenger information, digital seat reservation and navigation display systems.

They will have enhanced HVAC, touchless restroom controls and automated steps. Accessibility features will include inductive hearing loops, accessible toilets and vestibules and food service cars, and lifts for customers with reduced mobility including wheelchair users.

There will be ‘more contemporary’ catering including self-service options.


The largest contract ever won by Siemens Mobility in North America will see the new stock manufactured at its plant in Sacramento, in order to comply with the Federal Railroad Administration’s Buy America requirements. Servicing and maintenance will be managed from the company’s McClellan Park plant in Sacramento.

‘These trains will offer Amtrak and its passengers the latest in sustainable and intelligent rail technology’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter.

‘We believe hybrid battery and dual powered trains will play an important role in reducing emissions and protecting the environment in the United States. In addition, through our digital services, Amtrak will receive real-time information about vehicle operations, allowing them to ensure that their passengers arrive safely and efficiently’.