Amtrak’s new trainsets will be more accessible and environmentally friendly than the current fleet.
During a press conference in New York on Thursday, the railroad promised new features such as larger panoramic windows, ergonomic seats, adjustable headrests, and cup and tablet holders.
“As we invest in the future, Amtrak is paving the way for a new era of rail,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris in a statement. “With significant environmental benefits, a forward-thinking design, and world-class amenities, our new trains will transform the Amtrak experience.”
Although passengers will not be able to ride the trains until 2026, railroad officials say they represent an important evolution for Amtrak, particularly because the new trains are more environmentally friendly than the company’s current fleet.
Here’s what passengers can expect from the new Amtrak Airo cars, as well as the timeline for their introduction.
What features will the new Amtrak coaches have?
According to Amtrak, Siemens manufactures the Airo trainsets in Sacramento.
Among other things, each train will have all-new digital signage, an upgraded café car, and touch-free restrooms. At-seat power outlets and free Wi-Fi will remain standard on most Amtrak trains.
The railroad also hinted that the trains will feature more table seating as well as a 1-2 seating arrangement in business class, as well as more table seating options throughout the train, once they are released.
In addition to passenger-facing improvements, Amtrak claims the new trains will emit 90% less particulate matter than the railroad’s current fleet.
Airo vehicles feature hybrid propulsion, which includes diesel and battery power systems, as well as overhead electric versions.
The new trains will be able to travel at up to 125 miles per hour where track conditions allow, shortening journey times along their routes.
Amtrak anticipates receiving its first Airo trainset in 2026, when it will enter service on the Cascades route in the Pacific Northwest.
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The railroad stated that it would continue to accept deliveries and put new trains into service until 2031. Amtrak’s new cars will run on the following routes, mostly on the East Coast and in the Pacific Northwest, once the entire fleet is delivered: * Northeast Regional * Empire Service * Virginia Services * Keystone Service * Downeaster * Amtrak Cascades * Maple Leaf * New Haven/Springfield Service * Palmetto * Carolinian * Pennsylvanian * Vermonter * Ethan Allen Express * Adirondack
As the new trains enter service, Amtrak’s existing fleet of coaches and locomotives will be phased out and either sold on the secondary market or scrapped.