The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) moved one step closer to introducing eight state-of-the-art locomotives that will provide passenger rail service between Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver, BC.
In February, workers at Siemens rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif., used an overhead crane to install the first of nearly six-dozen 16-cylinder Cummings diesel-electric engines — each manufactured in Indiana, weighing 42,000 pounds, and measuring eight feet tall — that will offer passenger rail service in seven states. Eight Charger locomotives are scheduled to be delivered to Washington State later this year following extensive testing and commissioning, and will power the Amtrak Cascades service that is jointly administrated by WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
“The future of passenger rail service is rolling into the Pacific Northwest with these state-of-the-art locomotives,” said WSDOT Rail Director Ron Pate. “They are truly impressive machines that will be more effective, produce fewer emissions, and will keep our expanded service operating reliably.”
According to WSDOT officials, the new locomotives will have higher acceleration rates, a top speed at 125 miles per hour, and on-board positive train control safety features.
The $65.8 million locomotives purchase is part of a larger $800 million federal grant to improve passenger rail service. Once complete, the Cascades High-Speed Capital Rail Program will add two more daily round trips between Seattle and Portland, reduce travel time between the cities by 10 minutes, and increase on-time performance to 88 per cent, according to WSDOT officials.
The new locomotives are scheduled to be in service in early- to mid-2017.
More information is available online here.
To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the Amtrak Cascades service, visit our Web site for the following articles:
- WSDOT: Feds approve $89M Point Defiance Bypass rail project (Tacoma Daily Index, March 4, 2013)
- Engineers complete enviro study for $89M Point Defiance Bypass project (Tacoma Daily Index, Oct. 8, 2012)
- Wash. receives $31M in federal funds for passenger, freight rail projects (Tacoma Daily Index, Sept. 21, 2011)
- WSDOT optimistic about BNSF rail agreement (Tacoma Daily Index, Aug. 1, 2011)
- WSDOT: Last round of I-5 closures in Lakewood this weekend (Tacoma Daily Index, July 8, 2011)
- Wash. receives $15M in Fla. high-speed-rail funding (Tacoma Daily Index, May 10, 2011)
- Wash. to receive $145M in Ohio, Wis. high-speed-rail funding (Tacoma Daily Index, April 8, 2011)
- Wash. seeks additional $120M in high-speed-rail stimulus money (Tacoma Daily Index, April 4, 2011)
- ‘Cash Train’ lottery ticket helps fund Amtrak Cascades (Tacoma Daily Index, March 8, 2011)
- Agreements secure $590M in federal passenger rail funding for Wash. (Tacoma Daily Index, Feb. 28, 2011)
- Free Wi-Fi on Amtrak Cascade trains starts Feb. 1 (Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 31, 2011)
- Wash. awarded $161M in federal high-speed rail funds (Tacoma Daily Index, Dec. 9, 2010)
- WSDOT: Real-time road, traffic conditions available for holiday travelers (Tacoma Daily Index, Nov. 24, 2010)
- Pt. Defiance, South Tacoma rail line re-route meeting Nov. 15 (Tacoma Daily Index, Nov. 8, 2010)
- WSDOT to study $91M Point Defiance high-speed rail project (Tacoma Daily Index, May 11, 2010)
- 2 Tacoma rail projects recommended for federal stimulus funds (Tacoma Daily Index, March 22, 2010)
- I-90 and I-5 remain closed; WSDOT focuses on establishing detour routes (Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 8, 2009)
- Record crowd attends Pierce County Livable Communities Fair (Tacoma Daily Index, May 21, 2008)
- Amtrak Cascades ridership up record 7.4 percent (Tacoma Daily Index, March 10, 2008)
- County plans Medicare Information Day (Tacoma Daily Index, Oct. 3, 2005)