With a presidential pep talk to goose the economy, along with a $7.3 billion planned investment, achieving Amtrak’s goal to be a major cog in post-COVID-19 industry is sure to make America’s rails sing.
In the works: a fleet of 83 new trains to update its aging rolling stock.
“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,” said Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn.
Announcing a manufacturing contract with Siemans Mobility, Flynn said the rail utility’s sights are set on boosting the efficiency of the nation’s rail infrastructure with an eye on passenger traffic.
“This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while deeply reducing criteria pollutants,” he said.
With state of the art equipment, Amtrak is likely to sustain advances in surface transportation, according to federal rail officials.
These state-of-the-art trainsets will allow Amtrak to operate and provide services more safely, efficiently, and reliably,” said Federal Railroad Administration Deputy Administrator Amit Bose.
“More importantly, doing so will give riders the modern passenger rail accommodations, amenities and comforts they want and deserve,” Bose said.
According to Amtrak officials, the new equipment “will feature more comfortable seating, individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi, enhanced lighting and panoramic windows, larger vestibules, a more contemporary food service experience, including self-service options, as well as state-of-the-art customer trip information, digital seat reservation system and navigation display systems.”
Amtrak predicts the advances will pave the way to 1.5 million riders annually.
The move comes as President Biden, in a July 9 executive order, called for U.S. industry to step up the recovery from the COVID-19-related doldrum. The order directs the Surface Transportation Board to enhance passenger rail service and boost freight traffic.
“The American promise of a broad and sustained prosperity depends on an open and competitive economy,” Biden’s order said.
Meanwhile, Amtrak will continue to enforce health protocols designed to mute and control the coronavirus, the rail firm said.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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