Another 21 locomotives are expected to be on the rails in January, serving California and Washington as well as Midwest locations. The Midwest states will receive and own 33 of the 4,400-horsepower locomotives, which were purchased through $216.5 million in federal funding and are being assembled by Siemens in Sacramento.
Faster and more reliable locomotives combined with improved signals and tracks will cut the time it takes an Amtrak passenger train to run from Chicago to St. Louis by one hour by next year, state officials said Monday.
“In the coming weeks, MI will begin the replacement of older engines with brand new, high-tech locomotives operating on all of our passenger rail corridors, which will complement our 110-mph service”.
“Our individual Amtrak Midwest routes are made even stronger by being part of a network of connecting trains, stations, and reservation systems, which are a product of our state partners working together under the Amtrak umbrella”, said Michael Franke, Amtrak Senior Director – State Contracts. “These locomotives will power the Amtrak Midwest brand, bringing even better service to our customers”.
Powered by a Cummins QSK95 diesel engine, the locomotives will be able to operate at speeds up to 125 miles per hour, with faster acceleration and braking for better on-time reliability, Amtrak officials said. They feature quicker acceleration and braking.
“We’ll see improved performance in the form of reliable service, a smoother, more quiet ride, reduced fuel consumption and eventually faster speeds”, Blankenhorn told reporters. Purchased through $216.5 million in federal funds, the locomotives are just one part of a larger effort to improve passenger rail service in IL and the Midwest.
Illinois’ transportation department reports that there have been extensive repairs and upkeep along the Chicago-St.