Amtrak to Replace Quarter Century-Old Locomotives Along DC-Boston Route

New locomotives could put $300 million in electricity back on the grid.


Amtrak plans to replace a total of 70 locomotives on its Northeast Regional line, which transports passengers between Newport News, VA, and Boston, MA, according to the DCist website.  

Trains on the popular route, which often involve long lines of waiting commuters at DC's Union Station, are pulled by locomotives that are more than 25 years old and feature outdated technology, according to the article.

In a May 13 news release, Amtrak president and CEO Joseph Boardman said, “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.”

The new locomotives, dubbed “Amtrak Cities Sprinters,” will travel at speeds up to 125 mph between Washington, New York City and Boston and will employ a braking system that will put energy back into the power grid. That could save the rail company more than $300 million in energy savings over the next 20 years.

The locomotives will offer “self-diagnosis of technical issues,” meet the latest Federal Railroad Administration safety requirements and provide more reliable heating and cooling/lighting and door systems, according to Amtrak.

Amtrak says that the new locomotives, which are being assembled by Siemens from parts from nearly 70 suppliers, will be delivered on a rolling basis through 2016, with initial testing to begin on the first three units this summer.

Ian Brett Cooper May 20, 2013 at 01:48 PM
It's about time Amtrak came into the 21st Century. But 125mph is pitiful! Japan has trains and infrastructure that support trains that can run as fast as 350mph. Just imagine, DC to New York in 40 minutes, and DC to Boston in 75 minutes.
Kevin Hicks May 20, 2013 at 05:54 PM
The speeds here are restricted more by track curvature, elevation and grade crossings, not the equipment.


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