Amtrak and Siemens are conducting high-speed tests on the Northeast Corridor with a passenger car that will soon become the new standard on its California and Midwest routes.
The new car, SIIX 9024, is one of 137 coaches Siemens is building for the California Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation. The car is similar to what is currently being used by Virgin Trains’ Brightline service between Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla.
The cars feature wide aisles, window shades and are wheelchair accessible, according to Siemens Mobility. The first car arrived on the property in March and will eventually head west after testing. All 137 cars — 88 for Midwest service and 49 for California — are expected to be completed by 2023 at a price of $371 million. The cars will eventually replace and supplement Amfleet and Horizon cars in the Midwest and Surfliner and California Cars on the West Coast.
The Northeast Corridor test train consists of two ACS-64 locomotives (626 and 642, the latter of which is in the special veteran’s paint scheme), bracketing the Siemens coach and three Amfleet coaches. On April 25, the test train made three round trips between Philadelphia and Perryville, Md. before moving to Boston for additional testing.
—M.T. Burkhart, Railfan & Railroad Magazine