Equipment built by CAF USA improves service and creates jobs
WASHINGTON – Production of the first units of new Amtrak long distance passenger rail cars is nearing completion and they are expected to begin field testing this winter. The cars are being built by CAF USA at its facility in Elmira, N.Y., which hired more than 400 employees to perform the manufacturing and final assembly work.
The $298.1 million order for 130 single-level long distance passenger rail cars includes 25 sleepers, 25 diners, 25 baggage/dormitory and 55 baggage cars. More than 120 suppliers in 25 states and 93 cities are providing parts for the new rail cars.
“Amtrak long distance service connects America and so, too, does this equipment order in the form of jobs and economic opportunity in communities across the country,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “Amtrak is a major driver in the rebirth of an American rail manufacturing and supplier base that is strengthening our national economic health.”
“The long distance routes represent the most attractive business improvement opportunity for Amtrak and the new equipment will help us achieve cost reductions, more efficiency, revenue growth and better service,” said Amtrak Board Member Tom Carper.
“We are proud to have CAF-built equipment operate on Amtrak’s national network and eager to have passengers experience the improved amenities provided on modern equipment,” said CAF CEO Andres Arizkorreta.
“This contract to build 130 new rail cars for Amtrak is having a significant positive impact on our region’s economy by creating hundreds of much needed manufacturing jobs,” said Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli.
The new long distance cars will replace and supplement the existing fleet and allow cars built in the 1940s and 1950s to be retired. The sleeper, diner and baggage/dormitory cars will likely operate on eastern routes such as Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Crescent, and Silver Service with the baggage cars used nationwide. One of each type of car will be field tested this winter with the first units expected to enter revenue service during the summer of 2014. All 130 cars are expected to be delivered by the end of 2015.
Passengers will experience many improvements including: modern interiors with better layouts; better lighting and more efficient air conditioning and heating systems; additional outlets to power personal electronic devices; improved accessibility for passengers with disabilities; and bicycle racks in the baggage cars.
Furthermore, the new cars feature improvements for employees such as functional kitchen layouts that are easier to maintain, a more efficient process to stock food and an improved baggage car for easier organization.
Long distance trains provide national connectivity and mobility, feed riders onto the rapidly growing state-supported corridor services and deliver about half a million passengers to the Northeast Corridor each year. Since 2006, ridership on long distance trains is up nearly 27 percent, and in FY 2013, all long distance routes combined had the best year in 20 years with 4.8 million passengers.
In addition, about 42 percent of identified passengers with disabilities who used Amtrak in FY 2013 rode on a long distance train. Amtrak long distance trains serve 40 percent of America’s rural population and are the only remaining scheduled intercity transportation in many places as intercity bus and airline services abandon smaller communities.
NOTE: Photo and video available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/amtrak-previews-new-long-distance-cars-229099711.html http://youtu.be/fHAGdl5J0uw
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.
About CAF USA
CAF USA is a US Corporation, established in 1998, with corporate offices in Washington, DC and a state of the art manufacturing facility in Elmira Heights, NY. CAF USA is part of the CAF Group with over 100 years of
experience in designing, manufacturing and delivering railway and transit vehicles throughout the world. The Long Distance Single Level project for Amtrak is CAF USA’s sixth project in the US. For the Amtrak project the Elmira facility has been upgraded to not only complete the final assembly of the vehicles but also manufacture stainless steel car shells. CAF USA is committed to continuously growing its operation through making investments and developing its skilled American workforce.