Amtrak, the US national passenger rail provider, will invest “multi-billions” in a new Long Distance fleet. It has asked rolling stock manufacturers to submit proposals for the new fleet.
The new fleet is expected to arrive in the “early 2030s”. According to Amtrak, “multiple suppliers responded” to a previous Request for Information.
“We believe in the future of our Long Distance service,” said Amtrak board chair Tony Coscia.
“A new Amtrak Long Distance fleet will help us modernize and transform the service to meet the needs of customers now and into the future,” Coscia added.
The Request for Proposals outlines the provider’s requirements for Long Distance service rolling stock, including coach seating, private rooms, food service, enhanced accessibility, and route experience.
“Procuring new equipment for our Long Distance trains is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine our iconic routes through a modern, accessible, and sustainable fleet,” said Amtrak president Roger Harris.
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Along with the tender for new rolling stock, Amtrak said it was committed to improving its Long Distance offering with several other investments:
- Investing $28m for interior upgrades to 400 bi-level Superliner and 49 Viewliner cars. Nearly 200 Superliner cars have been refreshed and are now in revenue service and the Viewliner refresh will begin in 2024.
- Restoring and repairing 63 idled railcars by the end of 2024.
Amtrak said its Long Distance services carried 3.9 million passengers in the year to September 2023, an increase of 12%.