The U.S. intercity passenger rail service had placed a €338 million ($466 million) order with Siemens for 70 electric locomotives in October 2010. By securing this order, Siemens has succeeded in selling its locomotives to the American market for the first time. The first units will be field tested this summer for entry into revenue service in the fall. The last of these units are due to be handed over to Amtrak as of the end of 2015.
The Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) units are part of a comprehensive fleet replacement strategy that is planned for the next 14 years and which Amtrak is launching in its passenger rail service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC). Linking Boston and Washington, this corridor is one of the most heavily traveled long-distance routes in den USA. The new locomotives are to replace electric units that have been in operation for 20 to 30 years and will therefore play a major role in the modernization and expansion of the Amtrak equipment.
“The new Amtrak locomotives will help power the economic future of the Northeast region, provide more reliable and efficient service for passengers, and support the rebirth of rail manufacturing in America,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman. “Built on the West Coast for service in the Northeast with suppliers from many states, businesses and workers from across the country are helping to modernize the locomotive fleet of America’s Railroad.”
“More and more Americans are parking their cars and choosing the comfort and convenience of trains, metros and streetcars as their preferred way of traveling. We’re proud of the innovations we’ve brought to passengers and commuters,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rail Systems Division in the U.S. “From downtown streetcar systems to regional, passenger rail lines, Siemens’ transportation solutions like the next-generation Amtrak locomotives enhance safety, boost efficiency and performance, and are built in America.”
The Cities Sprinter electric locomotives for Amtrak are based on Siemens’ Eurosprinter and Vectron models. They are equipped to operate on the three line voltages 25 kV, 12.5 kV and 12 kV and develop an output rating of up to 6.4 MW. Consequently, they can reach a substantially higher performance level than the predecessor models. By operating trains up to 18 cars long at a top speed of 200 km/h (about 125 mph), Amtrak will now be able to run trains at closer headways and carry a considerably higher number of passengers on the same route.
Furthermore, the new locomotives will come with a 1000 kW onboard power supply that ensures 100% redundancy. They will be designed for easier maintenance and use a regenerative braking system that will feed energy back into the power grid and enhance energy efficiency. The Cities Sprinters will meet the latest safety regulations and crashworthiness standards set by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
The Amtrak Cities Sprinter locomotives will operate on the NEC along the Washington – New York – Boston route at speeds up to 200 km/h (about 125 mph) and on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at speeds up to 180 km/h (approx. 110 mph).
The Amtrak locomotives are being assembled mainly at Siemens’ manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California, with parts coming from various plants in Norwood, Ohio, Alpharetta, Georgia, and Richland, Mississippi, and from nearly 70 suppliers in more than 60 cities and 23 states.
The first three locomotives will undergo a comprehensive testing program this summer, including two at an U.S. Department of Transportation facility in Pueblo, Colorado, and one on the NEC.Editor
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