Alstom is to be awarded a $2.5 billion order for new Northeast Corridor high-speed train sets, according to US Senator Charles Schumer. Amtrak's board is expected to finalise the contract in December which will see 28 new trains built at Alstom's Hornell factory. The initial Request for Proposals (RFP) specified units with 40 per cent more seating capacity than the existing Acela Express fleet, which Alstom supplied alongside Bombardier, and an operating speed in excess of 250 km/h. The new trains will augment, and eventually replace, the existing fleet - the leases for which will expire in the next six to eight years. Schumer said: "This contract will add a massive injection of economic energy and hundreds of good-paying jobs for the economically struggling Southern Tier. "It will prove to be a win-win-win that would improve rail safety, bring jobs to Upstate New York, and improve the Amtrak experience for passengers along the entire Northeast Corridor." Further approval will be sought from the US Department of Transportation for funding through its Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) programme.
The facility will become TMH's only production site in Africa. It will be used to assemble, maintain and refurbish diesel and electric locomotives as well as coaches for South Africa and the rest of the continent.