Amtrak Issues RFP for New Long Distance Trains

Amtrak has issued a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) to railcar manufacturers to replace its existing Long Distance fleet.

This multi-billion-dollar procurement process marks the next major milestone in transforming long-distance train services across the US. It is made possible thanks to funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Congress.

Amtrak serves over 500 destinations across the US
Amtrak serves over 500 destinations across the US
Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia said:

“We believe in the future of our Long Distance service. Amtrak’s Long Distance network provides vital mobility and an economic link for communities around the country. A new Amtrak Long Distance fleet will help us modernise and transform the service to meet the needs of customers now and into the future.”

By replacing its fleet, Amtrak aims to better meet current and future market expectations. This includes improving the passenger experience, enhancing accessibility and increasing operational efficiency, sustainability and ridership.

This procurement is one of several Amtrak investments in upgrading the Long Distance customer experience, including refreshing passenger car interiors, restoring stored equipment and improving stations, onboard amenities, sales and support channels.

Recent initiatives include:

  • Purchasing 125 ALC-42 Long Distance locomotives, which are cleaner, faster, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly than those they are replacing
  • Investing 28 million USD in interior upgrades for 400 bi-level Superliner and 49 Viewliner cars
  • Restoring and repairing 63 idled railcars by the end of 2024
Amtrak President Roger Harris said:

“Procuring new equipment for our Long Distance trains is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine our iconic routes through a modern, accessible, and sustainable fleet.”

The release of the RFP to replace Amtrak’s fleet follows a Request for Information (RFI) issued in December 2022. Several suppliers responded to this in early 2023, which helped shape the RFP.

The RFP’s requirements include improvements to core elements such as coach seating, private rooms, food service, enhanced accessibility and route experience.

Following the selection of a manufacturer, final design, development and production will occur over the next several years. Fleet deliveries are then expected to begin in the early 2030s.

Rail Passengers Association President & CEO Jim Mathews said:

“Designers, suppliers, and the travelling public have all been waiting for a long time for this exciting news. Issuing this RFP kicks off what will be the biggest rolling stock acquisition since the 1940s, when the New York Central turned to three manufacturers for a blockbuster order for more than 700 cars. Rail passengers deserve a safe, modern, clean, reliable and exciting onboard experience, and today’s announcement is a vital step in ensuring that for generations to come.”

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