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Amtrak Signs $3.4 Billion Contract for Hybrid Battery Trains

Amtrak is partnering with Sacramento, Calif.-based Siemens Mobility. By 2024, Amtrak will receive 73 new emission-reducing trains, which will be the first hybrid cars the rail operator puts into use.

(TNS) — Amtrak announced Wednesday that it would award a $3.4 billion contract to Sacramento, Calif.-based Siemens Mobility to manufacture its latest line of energy-efficient trains.

This contract is the largest ever for the North American branch of Siemens Mobility, which has been headquartered in Sacramento for the past 30 years. Beginning in 2024, the company will provide 73 new trains to Amtrak, with the possibility of expanding to up to 130 trains along with maintenance contracts.

The trains will operate primarily along the Northeast Corridor line, which currently features trains built up to 50 years ago. Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn pointed to the partnership as an important way to make trains more sustainable while also creating jobs and manufacturing opportunities in America.

"These new trains, some of which will be our first hybrid battery operations in the United States, will transform the way Americans travel," said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Mobility, Rolling Stock in North America, in a news release. "Offering a more sustainable and comfortable travel experience, they will be built for excellence and built with pride in Sacramento, California."

The new trains will use multi-power systems that reduce emissions. The trains will also feature new interior design and cutting edge safety features, Amtrak said.

The Siemens Mobility deal comes as part of Amtrak's $7.3 billion investment in upgrading equipment throughout its rail lines. Amtrak expects the new trains to add over 1.5 million riders each year.

"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," Flynn said in the news release. "This investment is essential to preserving Northeast regional and state supported services for the future and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while reducing carbon emissions."

All trains will be manufactured at Siemens Mobility's manufacturing facility in Sacramento, which currently employs 2,100 people. Customer service and maintenance will also be managed in Sacramento, in Siemens' McClellan Park repair plant.

Siemens has not yet announced plans for facility expansion or how many employees are expected to be added.

"In Sacramento, Siemens Mobility is not only an important local job creator, but an active member of our tight-knit community," said U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D- Sacramento, in a news release. "With this announcement, their innovation will bring state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly fleet improvements to travelers across the nation."

©2021 The Sacramento Bee, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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