[US] Amtrak: The Midwest welcomes the Charger locomotive

What is it about? The official presentation of the new Siemens Charger diesel locomotive for state-sponsored Amtrak trains in the Midwest. 33 units are on order, now the first locomotives have the Amtrak Midwest logo.

Siemens: New locomotives are now serving Amtrak customers in Illinois and Wisconsin, with the U.S.-built, Midwest-powered, Amtrak-maintained units slated to operate on state-sponsored services in the region. They carry the new Amtrak Midwest logo to promote the five-state network of connecting trains with a robust reservations system, eTicketing and mobile apps; AmtrakConnect cellular-based Wi-Fi; and the Amtrak Guest Rewards program.

Charger locomotives will be used on the blue lines. Visual: Siemens

After deliveries are completed, these 33 locomotives will be deployed from Chicago on trains that served more than 2.6 million Amtrak customers in the last year: Lincoln Service, Illini/Saluki and Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg to and from Downstate Illinois; Hiawatha Service in Illinois and Wisconsin; Wolverine Service/Blue Water/Pere Marquette to and from Michigan; and Missouri River Runner between Kansas City and St. Louis. The first Amtrak Midwest locomotive was unveiled at a news conference on 28.08.2017 at Chicago Union Station.

Photo: Siemens USA

Powered by a Midwest-made 4,400 horsepower Cummins QSK95 diesel engine, the locomotives will be able to operate at speeds up to 125 mph, with faster acceleration and braking for better on-time reliability. They meet the latest safety regulations and feature better traction for improved performance.

They also are the first higher-speed passenger locomotives to meet the highest federal environmental standards, meaning a 90 percent reduction in emissions and a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 16% compared to the previous locomotives.

Purchased through $216.5 million in federal funds, the locomotives are just one part of a larger effort to improve passenger rail service in Illinois and the Midwest.

Photo: Siemens USA

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