Greener locomotives will soon grace the front of Amtrak passenger trains in the Midwest region. The engines, Siemens Chargers, meet the highest standards for US emissions, according to the Environmental Proctection Agency (EPA). Siemens, a German company, has operations in the US and is building the new locomotives in Sacramento, California.
The new engines also offer a faster acceleration rate than current Midwest passenger locomotives, which can help speed up departures from stations. Chicago, effectively North America’s railroad capital, will be the hub for the roll-out of the Siemens once they arrive in the Fall. Amtrak intends to mark their delivery by hosting some special events.
Numerous Amtrak routes in the Midwest are getting the new engines. In Michigan, the Wolverine (Pontiac-Detroit-Chicago), Blue Water (Port Huron-Chicago), and Pere Marquette (Grand Rapids-Chicago) will be recipients. In Illinois, routes between Chicago and Carbondale, and between Chicago and Quincy, will have use of the new locomotives.
Branching out further, to Wisconsin and Missouri, respectively, the Hiawatha (Chicago-Milwaukee) and the Lincoln Service (Chicago-St. Louis) will add the Siemens Chargers to their train sets.
This writer is a frequent rider (say that five times fast) of Amtrak’s Midwest routes and looks forward to the roll-out of the new engines. Back to the future continues.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)