US-based passenger railroad service provider Amtrak has issued a request for information (RFI) to find information on new rail vehicles that could replace its outdated Amfleet I equipment, including its single-level passenger cars.

The cars run primarily on routes east of the Mississippi River such as the Northeast Regional, Keystone, Carolinian and Illinois Service Trains.

Through the RFI, Amtrak is seeking information on all variants of rail vehicles, from coach cars and trainsets to self-propelled units.

After reviewing offers from manufacturers, Amtrak plans to release a request for proposals (RRFP) for specific replacement vehicles in 2019.

Amtrak Corporate Planning vice president Byron Comati said: “New equipment will provide our customers with a more modern experience while improving ride quality and reliability.”

“New equipment will provide our customers with a more modern experience while improving ride quality and reliability.”

Although the Amfleet I fleet was recently refurbished, Amtrak believes that replacing its almost 40-year-old cars would be a more cost-effective option than maintenance.

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The move is part of Amtrak’s plan to update and replace its fleet. Earlier this month, Amtrak issued an RFP for new or rebuilt locomotives to supplement and replace its National Network diesel locomotive fleet.

The company expects that the first of 28 new Acela Express trainsets will start serving customers on the Northeast Corridor from 2021.

Amtrak also recently undertook a number of initiatives, including updating its trains, launching new fare structures, improving on-time performance and enhancing Wi-Fi connectivity in a bid to improve the customer experience.

Amtrak operates over 300 trains per day and connects more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces, reaching 400 further destinations through connecting bus routes.