US-based passenger railroad service provider Amtrak is to upgrade its National Network diesel locomotive fleet currently serving some long distance and state-supported routes.

As part of the upgrade, Amtrak plans to either purchase new locomotives or renovate its current National Network fleet in a bid to offer its customers more reliable services, improved safety and speed, as well as providing environmental benefits.

The company has already issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), seeking to buy 50 to 75 new locomotives and is hoping to rebuild or acquire additional units.

Amtrak’s new locomotives will primarily replace the company’s P40 and P42 locomotives, some of which are more than 25 years old. It will also aim to enter into a multi-year technical support, spares and supply agreement to ensure an optimal and cost-effective maintenance of the locomotives.

“Our diesel locomotive fleet is nearing the end of life expectancy and we must act now to modernise Amtrak for the future.”

Amtrak president and CEO Richard Anderson said: “Our diesel locomotive fleet is nearing the end of life expectancy and we must act now to modernise Amtrak for the future.

“We expect that any new, state-of-the-art locomotive will offer improved reliability, a smoother ride, improved safety features and make major contributions towards lowering emissions and we’ll also consider how rebuilding options of the current fleet could achieve these goals.”

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By GlobalData

The initiative is expected to help Amtrak achieve its long-term upgrade plans, which include buying modern equipment, ongoing improvements at New York Penn Station and the new Moynihan Train Hall, as well as the further development of stations in Chicago; Washington, DC; Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Last month, Amtrak revealed plans to make an undisclosed investment to modify the train interiors of its entire Acela Express fleet, which travels along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington.