Project Info

Rail - Amtrak Cascades New Locomotives


November 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 to the rail manufacturing industry, as Washington state is purchasing new locomotives, designed and built in the United States.


What is the project timeline?

  • Contract Awarded – March 2014
  • Final Design Complete – Summer 2015
  • Locomotives Delivery to WSDOT – starts in spring 2017 
  • Locomotives Testing Complete–  2017
  • Locomotives in service -- Fall 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 - $58.3 million


How can I get more information?

WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
Phone: 360-705-7900

I-5 Corridor Map
View enlarged map.

Amtrak Cascades paint job on one of WSDOT's new locomotives.
This shot of one of WSDOT's new locomotives shows the Amtrak Cascades paint design as the locomotive heads off for testing. 

Photo of an engine being lowered into a locomotive shell

Watch a video of the first engine being lowered into a locomotive shell.

Visit the New Locomotives project album for more photos.