DETROIT (AP/WAVY) — Amtrak plans to spend $7.3 billion to replace 83 passenger trains, some of which are nearly a half-century old.
“This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while deeply reducing criteria pollutants.”
The Northeast Regional trains travel through Hampton Roads.
The U.S. national passenger railroad says it is contracting with a unit of Siemens AG of Germany to build the trains at a U.S. factory in California.
Much of the funding for the contract hasn’t been approved by Congress, however. But Amtrak says it can finance the purchases if needed.
Amtrak said in a statement Wednesday that some of the trains will be hybrids, able to operate on diesel fuel and electricity where wires are available.
“Amtrak’s procurement of new rolling stock is historic. These state-of-the-art trainsets will allow Amtrak to operate and provide services more safely, efficiently, and reliably,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose. “More importantly, doing so will give riders the modern passenger rail accommodations, amenities and comforts they want and deserve.”
The new trains will start running in 2024. They’ll have more comfortable seating, better ventilation systems, individual power outlets and USB ports, and onboard WiFi.