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Amtrak Unveils New Look on National Network Locomotives

Another view of Unit 309

Fresh design to appear on many Amtrak trains in the future

WASHINGTON – The first Amtrak locomotive to carry a new paint scheme is traveling from California to Delaware, giving the public a glimpse of a new look as it makes its way to more Amtrak trains in the years to come.

“Amtrak is in an exciting new era, with historic fleet investment under the American Jobs Act to purchase more new passenger locomotives and passenger railcars,” said Stephen Gardner [1], Amtrak President & CEO.  

“We’re presented with the perfect opportunity to evolve our image as we grow as an essential part of the American transportation network and expand service in more cities across the country,” Gardner added. “We created this new look for our trains that reflects the transformation underway at Amtrak as we welcome back our loyal customers while introducing new generations to rail travel.”

Called Phase VII as the seventh standard exterior design in the 50-year history of Amtrak [2], Locomotive 309 features our mainstay Amtrak Blue with Amtrak Red and Midnight Blue separated by white arcs. The Amtrak red color on the front provides a bright splash of color, while darker colors were placed in strategic areas to accentuate the sleek form. The white portions of the design, stripes, logos and unit numbers are reflective for added visibility and safety. The design’s use of non-metallic colors is a departure from predominantly silver locomotives, making repair work more efficient.

This bold design also draws directly from the abstract “rails over the horizon” theme found in Amtrak‘s “Travelmark“ Logo [3].

Locomotive 309 is the tenth of 75 ALC-42 units being delivered through 2025, an important part of Amtrak’s sustainability initiative as they are significantly more environmentally friendly than their 1990’s predecessors. As announced in February [4], they greatly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by more than 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent, all while consuming less fuel and reaching a greater top speed than the locomotives being replaced.

These “Charger” locomotives are Buy America compliant and built at the Siemens Mobility [5] rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, Calif. It is part of Siemens Mobility’s larger U.S. manufacturing network, with eight facilities, more than 4,000 employees and 2,000 American suppliers.

Locomotive 309 is making its first trip across the country, having departed yesterday as part of the California Zephyr, from Emeryville, Calif., to Chicago. It is scheduled this Sunday to transfer to the Capitol Limited to Washington, D.C. It is destined for our Wilmington, Del., facility, where it will go through an acceptance process before entering service.

Photos of Amtrak Locomotive 309 are available in an Image Gallery here in the Amtrak Media Center [6].