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Rail - Amtrak Cascades New Locomotives

status construction
Amtrak Cascades route map
View enlarged map.

locomotive engine lowering
VIDEO: Click here to watch the first engine being lowered into a locomotive shell.

locomotive drawing 
This is a conceptual design of the new Siemens Charger locomotives provided by Siemens. The official WSDOT colors and design are still being finalized.

Visit the New Locomotives project album for more photos.


February 2017

  • Construction of the initial locomotives has begun -- watch a video here -- with WSDOT's scheduled to arrive in early 2017.
  • WSDOT will purchase eight new Siemens Charger locomotives from Siemens USA.
  • The new locomotives are scheduled to be in operation by spring 2017.

Why is WSDOT purchasing new locomotives?
Washington state is purchasing new state-of-the-art locomotives, designed and built in the United States to meet the growing population and associated increased travel on the I-5 corridor. Passenger rail service is an efficient and environmentally sound travel mode and these locomotives will pull Washington-state sponsored Amtrak Cascades trains.

This "next generation" rail equipment will feature improved fuel efficiency and safety upgrades. The new 4,400-horse power Cummins QSK95 engines are 42,000 pounds 8-foot tall and meet new, stringent emission standards.

The new locomotives will serve all the existing scheduled trains and the two additional round trips between Seattle and Portland, which will be added in 2017. 

WSDOT joined other state partners including Illinois, California, Michigan and Missouri to develop specifications for new rail equipment for its Amtrak Cascades service.

The End Result
The new locomotives will have higher accelerations rates and top speeds, lower emission rates, on-board positive train control, and be more reliable.

Project Benefits

  • More frequent Amtrak Cascades service with schedule reliability along the I-5 corridor.
  • Lower emission rates.
  • A boost the rail manufacturing industry, as Washington state is purchasing new locomotives, designed and built in the United States.

What is the project timeline?

  • Request for Proposals – Aug. 8, 2013
  • Contract Awarded – March 2014
  • NEPA CE Approval – March 2014
  • Preliminary Design Complete – July 2014
  • Intermediate Design Complete – Spring 2015
  • Final Design Complete – Summer 2015
  • Locomotives Delivery to WSDOT – starts in early 2017 
  • Locomotives Testing Complete–  2017

Financial Information

Washington state is delivering nearly $800 million in federally funded rail corridor improvements using high-speed rail grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. The purchase of new locomotives is one of those projects.

  • Project Budget - $56.5 million

How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
Phone: 360-705-7900

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