Production of Amtrak Airo™ Trains ‘Boosting Business Nationwide’

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor, Railway Age
Image Courtesy of Amtrak
Image Courtesy of Amtrak

The production of new Amtrak Airo™ trains is “boosting business nationwide as manufacturing ramps up,” benefiting communities across the country through the creation of new, sustainable, engineering and manufacturing jobs with more than 3,500 parts manufactured by nearly 100 suppliers in 31 states, the passenger railroad company announced Oct. 12.

According to Amtrak, the new trains will “elevate the journey with spacious interiors, panoramic windows, plenty of legroom, double and single seats, dedicated outlets, USB ports and onboard Wi-Fi.” The trains, Amtrak adds, “will also offer greater accessibility with onboard passenger lifts, increased accessible spaces, and enhanced audible and visual messaging that will improve the experience for all customers. The new trains can operate at speeds of up to 125 mph, are more sustainable and offer a seamless transition where time-consuming locomotive changes were previously required.”

“As we build to support the soaring demand for train travel, Amtrak Airo™ is creating jobs even before the trains are on the tracks,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “The new trains will not only provide world-class accommodations on routes throughout the country but will stimulate local economies as we revolutionize the Amtrak experience.”

Image Courtesy of Amtrak

In 2021, Amtrak selected Siemens Mobility, Inc. to manufacture new, state-of-the-art trains that comply with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Buy America Standards. The official name was announced alongside design details in 2022. In Summer 2023, Amtrak executed a contract option for 10 additional trains, bringing the total order to 83. Production has started on the new trains at Siemens Mobility’s Sacramento, Calif. facility, one of the largest and most sustainable of its kind, featuring solar panels that provide most of its power.

“Amtrak is an integral part of the fabric of our nation and Amtrak Airo™ will represent a new level of passenger experience for travelers throughout America,” said Michael Cahill, President of Rolling Stock for Siemens Mobility North America. “On behalf of our 4,500 team members across North America, we’re proud to be working with Amtrak to design, build, and deliver the future of American rail.”

The first Amtrak Airo™ train is scheduled to debut in 2026. Customers will experience new Amtrak Airo™ trains on the Northeast RegionalEmpire ServiceAmtrak Virginia ServicesKeystone ServiceAmtrak DowneasterAmtrak CascadesMaple LeafNew Haven-Springfield-Greenfield ServicePalmettoCarolinianPennsylvanianVermonterEthan Allen Express and Adirondack.

A share of Amtrak’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funding will support the procurement of Amtrak Airo, which is part of a larger transformation that the company says will “revolutionize the Amtrak experience.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering billions of dollars to modernize our railways, by helping fund crucial projects like Amtrak Airo,™” said U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). “The trains being manufactured in Sacramento will be more fuel efficient and deliver a better experience for riders—creating good jobs now and helping connect our communities for years to come.”

“The Amtrak Airo™ production is very exciting because it helps increase employment opportunities for everyone in the supply chain and will also provide an improved customer experience for travelers,” said Massachusetts Acting Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “Investments in public transportation are investments which lead to job creation and economic vitality in local communities.”

“Convenient and reliable passenger rail service is vital to the economic well-being of New York State and Amtrak’s new Amtrak Airo™ trains are already providing a benefit,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “With seven New York companies supplying parts for these sleek new trains, Amtrak Airo™ is helping to support New York’s manufacturing economy. The State Department of Transportation is pleased to see this production move forward and looks forward to the day when Amtrak Airo trains are rolling through the Empire State on a daily basis.”

“Oregon’s Department of Transportation is thrilled that the new Amtrak Airo™ trains will be making their national debut in Pacific Northwest Amtrak Cascades corridor service, and that they incorporate parts manufactured by two Oregon companies,” said Jennifer Sellers, Multimodal and Rail Services Unit Manager.

“Amtrak Cascades is eager to welcome new trains in 2026 to our scenic route linking Washington, Oregon and British Columbia,” said Jason Biggs, Acting Director of WSDOT’s Rail, Freight and Ports Division. “Ours will be the first Amtrak Airo™ trains delivered by Siemens and knowing that suppliers in the Pacific Northwest are contributing to their production is gratifying. Their arrival will herald a new generation of train travel in our region.”

A video on how production of the Amtrak Airo™ is stimulating the U.S. economy is available here.

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