US Vice President Joe Biden has launched the first new electric locomotive of a $466 million order for Amtrak services on the Northeast Corridor.
Siemens has delivered the first of 70 vehicles being built at a solar-powered manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California.
Biden was joined by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and executives from Siemens and Amtrak on February 6 for a launching ceremony at Philadelphia’s 30th Street station.
The new locomotives are capable of speeds of 125 mph (200 km/h) and will replace the existing 25 to 35-year-old stock operating between Washington, New York and Boston.
Based on the Eurosprinter and Vectron locomotive platforms, the Amtrak Cities Sprinter includes features such as regenerative braking and modern fault monitoring software.
The first Cities Sprinter will enter full revenue service today (February 7).
Amtrak chief executive Joe Boardman said: “Amtrak is integral to the daily life of the Northeast and the new locomotives will keep the people and businesses of the region connected and on the move.
“New equipment ensures Amtrak can deliver the reliable service the region depends on and supports the growth of the region as America’s economic powerhouse.”