The new trains, based on electric models used in Europe, will replace aging Amtrak locomotives, some of which have been in service for three decades. Amtrak received a $466 million loan from the federal government to order 70 of the new locomotives, the Associated Press notes.
That loan will have to be paid off over 25 years. The rail service took in a record $2 billion in revenue last year as 31 million people rode Amtrak trains. Passenger traffic was particularly heavy along the service’s Northeast Corridor line.
The new locomotives, dubbed Amtrak Cities Sprinters, feature computer self-diagnostic systems and enhanced braking systems. Siemens won the contract to make the locomotives in 2010.
Under the terms of the federal loan that funded the new locomotives, most of the components and materials used to build them are produced in the U.S.
Shares of Siemens fell fractionally in Monday midday trading.