Amtrak Unveils First ARRA Funded Rail Car to be Restored and Returned to Service

WASHINGTON — Amtrak unveiled the first of 81 passenger rail cars to be removed from storage, restored to good condition, and returned to service as part of a program to add seating capacity to trains across its national system using funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), said Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman.

The ARRA is better known as the “bailout” by most Americans.

“The real story today is about people — the Amtrak passengers who will ride in these rehabilitated cars and the workers who are doing a great job bringing them back to life,” Boardman said, noting that the additional seating capacity on its trains will help connect families, further business relationships, and position Amtrak for expected future growth in ridership.

The first car completed under this program is one of 60 Amfleet passenger rail cars to be rehabilitated at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Bear, Del., using $58.5 million in ARRA funds. Funding from ARRA also is supporting similar work at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Beech Grove, Ind., including $19.3 million to restore and return to service 20 Superliner cars and one Viewliner car, plus $13 million for 15 P-40 locomotives.

To perform all of this work, Amtrak has hired 55 employees at the Delaware facility and 108 at the Indiana location. In addition, Amtrak has added more than 200 other jobs to work on numerous other ARRA funded projects across its system.

The car unveiled today, Amfleet II Coach Car No. 25103, was damaged in a yard collision in Hialeah, Fla., and has been out of service since April 2005. Following repair of the wreck damage it underwent a major overhaul to bring it up-to-date in standard design, colors, amenities, and federal safety requirements.

This rehabilitation, known as a Level 3 Overhaul, includes a complete update of the car’s interior, exterior, mechanical systems, electrical systems, trucks, wheel assemblies, airbrakes and restrooms. It cost about $687,000 to get it back in as-new working condition.

Coach Car No. 25103 will return to active service within the next week and will be part of a pool of equipment used by Amtrak trains to carry passengers over the following 10 routes:

  • Cardinal (New York — Washington — Cincinnati — Indianapolis — Chicago)
  • Carolinian (New York — Washington — Richmond — Raleigh — Charlotte)
  • Crescent (New York — Washington — Atlanta — Birmingham — New Orleans)
  • Lake Shore Limited (New York — Albany — Cleveland — Chicago)
  • Maple Leaf (New York — Albany — Buffalo — Toronto)
  • Palmetto (New York — Washington — Richmond — Charleston — Savannah)
  • Pennsylvanian (New York — Philadelphia — Harrisburg — Pittsburgh)
  • Piedmont (Raleigh — Durham — Charlotte)
  • Silver Meteor (New York — Washington — Richmond — Savannah — Orlando — Miami)
  • Silver Star (New York — Washington — Richmond — Savannah — Tampa — Miami)