New Orleans the Next Stop for Amtrak’s Newest Locomotives

After debuting on the Empire Builder, Amtrak says the new Siemens locomotives will make their next appearance on the City of New Orleans. Locomotives 302 and 301 are seen leading the Empire Builder with two P42 locomotives at Whitefish, Mont., on February 13, 2022. Photo by Justin Franz. 

New Orleans the Next Stop for Amtrak’s Newest Locomotives

By Justin Franz 

CHICAGO — More than a week after their less-than-perfect debut on the Empire Builder, Amtrak’s new Siemens Mobility ALC-42 locomotives are getting ready for their next assignment: the City of New Orleans

On February 8, locomotives 301 and 302 were set to lead the Empire Builder west, but issues with Positive Train Control forced Amtrak to put a P42 on the point soon after leaving Chicago Union Station. PTC problems persisted on February 12, when Amtrak once again tried to have 301 lead east out of Seattle. After switching the two ALC-42s around, 302 took charge, but the train was delayed significantly later that evening when the train struck a truck near Everett, Wash. No one was injured in the incident and the train continued east a few hours later. The following day, when it arrived in Whitefish, Mont., it was more than seven hours late.

Amtrak officials tell Railfan & Railroad that locomotives 300 and 301 had some PTC software issues addressed in Chicago last week and on Sunday afternoon the two units were leading the Empire Builder west with a P42 trailing. Locomotive 302 is in the shop having some minor repairs to its front end following the collision with the truck in Washington, specifically to its sandbox cover and HEP connectors. 

Meanwhile, ALC-42 303 has been sent to New Orleans for crew familiarization. Amtrak Spokesperson Marc Magliari tells Railfan & Railroad that once crews have gotten a chance to check out the new locomotive, one of the ALC-42s will lead the City of New Orleans in the coming weeks. 

This article was posted on: February 21, 2022