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.
- More frequent Amtrak Cascades service with schedule reliability along the I-5 corridor.
- Lower emission rates.
- A boost to 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 spring 2017
- Locomotives Testing Complete– 2017
- Locomotives in service -- Summer 2017
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 - $58.3 million
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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