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Amtrak to spend $7 billion for new fleet, supporting over 2,000 jobs

Ailan Evans, DCNF

Amtrak will spend $7 billion to manufacture a new fleet of 83 trains in a project expected to support 2,100 jobs, the company announced Wednesday.

Amtrak partnered with railway company Siemens Mobility to produce the new fleet, the company said in a press release. The trains are designed to be “state-of-the-art”, with onboard Wi-Fi, power outlets, and self-service food options, and will primarily operate in the East Coast and Pacific Northwest, Amtrak said.

“These new trains will reshape the future of rail travel by replacing our aging 40-to-50-year old fleet with state-of-the-art, American-made equipment,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in the press release.

The project is expected to create 2,100 jobs at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, California, with additional downstream economic benefits, Amtrak said.

“California’s innovation economy is coming roaring back, and this $7.3 billion contract – one of the biggest of its kind – represents good paying jobs and further proves that California is a great place to do business,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in the statement.

“Offering a more sustainable and comfortable travel experience, they [the trains] will be built for excellence and built with pride in Sacramento, California,” added Siemens Mobility president Michael Cahill.

The trains will have dual-powered engines using hybrid battery technology, which Amtrak said will “provide a substantial environmental benefit through reduced criteria pollutants compared to the existing fleet.”

Amtrak received $1.69 billion in April 2021 from the Department of Transportation as part of the American Rescue Plan, with President Joe Biden proposing an $80 billion investment in the rail company this March as part of his infrastructure bill.

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