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Rail - Amtrak Cascades New Locomotives


January 2015

  • WSDOT joined other state partners including Illinois, California, Michigan and Missouri to develop specifications for new rail equipment for its Amtrak Cascades service.
  • On March 12, 2014, Siemens USA was selected to design, construct, and deliver eight new Siemens Charger locomotives for WSDOT.
  • Siemens has completed the Preliminary Design and has started the Intermediate Design phase. Intermediate Design Reviews were held in Fall 2014.
  • The new locomotives are planned to be in operation by spring 2017.

Why is WSDOT purchasing new locomotives?
In order to meet this ever-increasing demand for more rail service and boost the rail manufacturing industry, Washington state is purchasing new locomotives, designed and built in the United States.

This "next generation" rail equipment will feature better fuel efficiency, added passenger comfort, travel conveniences and safety upgrades.

The new locomotives will accommodate two additional round trips between Seattle and Portland.

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

  • Faster, 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 – Fall 2014
  • Final Design Complete – Spring 2015
  • Locomotives Delivery to WSDOT – starts Fall 2016
  • Locomotives Testing Complete– Spring 2017

Financial Information

Washington state is delivering nearly $800 million in federally funded rail corridor improvements using high speed rail grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration. The purchase of new locomotives is one of those projects.

  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - $65.8 million
  • Total Funding From All Sources - $65.8 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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