Amtrak has launched a multi-million-dollar, multi-year project to improve the customer experience aboard its long-distance trains serving overnight routes across the country.
More than 450 railcars will be refreshed over the next three years at an investment of $28 million, extending the useful life and modernizing cars delivered in the 1980s and 1990s.
The first refreshed coaches will carry travelers this summer. Modernized “Viewliner I” sleeping cars operating to and from the east and southeast and bi-level “Superliner” fleet, serving primarily midwestern, southern and western routes, will be deployed starting this fall.
“We are marking a new era in customer experience for our historic routes that serve the country with comfortable and affordable coach seating and private rooms,” Amtrak Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Roger Harris said in a news release. “As we mark Amtrak’s 50th anniversary this year, these significant investments in the long distance network lay the foundation for our next decades of service.”
At a recent Chicago event, Amtrak showed the first of its new U.S.-built low-emissions diesel-electric locomotives. The new locomotives are designated as ALC-42 for “Amtrak Long-distance Charger, 4,200-horsepower,” and 75 of these units have been ordered from Siemens Mobility in Sacramento, California.
Other improvements include:
- The recently announced restoration of traditional dining service on six western routes, starting June 23. Menus from the reimagined and enhanced service were shown at this event.
- Completed earlier this month was the resumption of daily service for 12 long-distance routes, following almost eight months of pandemic-related schedule reductions.
- An expanded BidUp program now offers customers an opportunity to place a bid to upgrade into one of Amtrak’s premium services, including from coach class to private rooms.
Additionally, upgraded bedding, pillows, towels and linens, as successfully tested on Auto Train, will be expanding to all private Bedrooms and Roomettes starting this August. This will be followed by installing lotion dispensers in bedrooms and three-bottle dispensers of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in showers.