Amtrak Orders Fifty More National Network Locomotives

309, ALC-42, Amtrak, Charger, Phase VII Brand new ALC-42 #309 is the first unit to wear the Phase VII livery, seen at the Siemens plant in California. Photo by Mike Armstrong for Amtrak. Amtrak has rull rights.

Amtrak has ordered another 50 locomotives from Siemens Mobility, which worked with Amtrak to design the locomotive series for long-distance services.

Together with the initial order of 75 locomotives, the 125 diesel-electric units are part of Amtrak’s sustainability initiative and are considerably more environmentally friendly than their 1990s predecessors. They reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent while consuming less fuel than the locomotives being retired and reaching a higher top speed of 125 mph.

“We’re dedicated to continuously seeking new and innovative technologies that provide solutions to meet transportation needs while reducing health and climate impacts,“ said Amtrak Vice President and Chief Mechanical Officer George Hull. “We are focused on being the solution to get people out of cars and planes and onto rail for greater emissions reductions.“

The new locomotives are designated as ALC-42 for “Amtrak Long-distance Charger, 4,200-horsepower.” They will primarily replace Amtrak P40 and P42 diesel-electric locomotives, which have a lower top speed and began service under different emissions standards 30 years ago.

The ALC-42 locomotives are Buy America compliant and built at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif. It is part of Siemens Mobility’s U.S. manufacturing network, with eight facilities, more than 4,000 employees and 2,000 American suppliers, including Cummins, which manufactures the Tier-4 compliant diesel engines in Seymour, Ind.

Amtrak is paying up to $2 billion for the new locomotives and supplemental multi-year maintenance support, including about $850 million in funding set aside when the initial order was announced in 2018.

The first of the ALC-42’s entered service in February on our famous Empire Builder trains and are next to be deployed on our well-known City of New Orleans trains between their namesake city and Chicago. Starting with the tenth unit (delivered in April), the locomotives will carry the seventh standard paint scheme in the 50-year history of Amtrak.

Called Phase VII, this “livery” features our mainstay Amtrak Blue with Amtrak Red and Midnight Blue separated by white arcs. The Amtrak red color on the front provides a bright splash of color, while darker colors were placed in strategic areas to accentuate the sleek form. The white portions of the design, stripes, logos and unit numbers are reflective for added visibility and safety.

Railfanning Review Podcast

Before you copy and paste this information to your website, please keep in mind this research took a lot of effort. Appreciate it. Learn from it. But do not plagiarize it. Yes, if you think we might be talking to you, we are.