The new Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64) electric locomotives are now in a comprehensive and rigorous testing program, and are being put through the paces before entering Northeast service this fall.
On July 29 2013, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo and Siemens Rail Systems President Michael Cahill traveled to the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) Transportation Technology Center (TTC) facility in Pueblo, Colo., to get an update on the testing program and to observe a testing demonstration.
“These locomotives are the new workhorses of the Amtrak fleet in the Northeast and they must meet our performance-based specifications and reliability needs so we can keep the region’s people and economy moving,” said Boardman.
Amtrak selected Siemens to design and manufacture 70 next-generation, electric locomotives that will provide improved reliability, efficiency and mobility for intercity rail passengers traveling on the Northeast and Keystone Corridors. The new locomotives will replace existing locomotives in service for 25-35 years with an average of 3.5 million miles traveled.
The new locomotives will operate on Northeast Regional trains at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) along the Washington – New York – Boston route and on Keystone Service trains at speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa. In addition, the new locomotives will power all long-distance trains operating on the NEC.
The new locomotives are designed for easier maintenance, will improve energy efficiency by using a regenerative braking system that will feed energy back into the power grid and will enhance mobility for the people, businesses and economy of the entire Northeast region. They also meet the latest federal rail safety regulations.
Once the locomotives are commissioned in the fall, production of the remaining units will ramp up for monthly delivery through 2016. The new locomotives are part of a comprehensive Amtrak Fleet Strategy Plan to modernize and expand its equipment.