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Amtrak

DSC_0904

Chicago Union Station
July 9, 2014

Amtrak is the national intercity train network in the United States.  Amtrak operates more than 300 trains in 46 states and three Canadian provinces over 21,300 miles of track each day.  Most of Amtrak’s ridership is concentrated in the Northeast Corridor (Washington, DC-New York City-Boston), where the Acela Express high speed train runs at speeds of up to 150 MPH while in revenue service.  A network of 15 long distance routes criscrossing the country, while not the most expedient way to get somewhere, provide for a remarkable travel experience and way to see the country that cannot be matched when one travels by car or airplane.  These trains have sleeping cars, a full service dining car, and an observation car with floor to ceiling windows.

Acela Express

The Acela Express is Amtrak's premium service in the Northeast Corridor and North America's fastest passenger train. A Bombardier Alstom consortium built 20 trainsets at a cost of $800 million. Each trainset has two power cars, a first class car, four business class cars, and a cafe car. Acela Express entered revenue service on December 11, 2000. It operates at speeds of up to 150 MPH and has tilting technology to improve passenger comfort as the train goes through curves.

Amtrak AEM-7 Electric Locomotives

Amtrak acquired 65 AEM-7 locomotives between 1978 and 1988. They have been used in the Northeast Corridor and on Keystone services. Twenty-nine AEM-7s were re-manufactured by Alstom in between 1999 and 2002.

Amtrak HHP-8 Electric Locomotives

Amtrak ordered fifteen HHP-8 locomotives in 1999. These engines featured 8,000 horsepower engines, making them the most powerful in Amtrak's fleet. However, they were plagued with mechanical issues throughout their history and retired in November 2014 after just 15 years in revenue service.

Amtrak ACS-64 Electric Locomotives

Amtrak ordered 70 ACS-64 electric locomotives from Siemens to replace the entire AEM-7 and HHP-8 fleets in the Northeast Corridor. These engines first entered service in 2014.

Amtrak Genesis Diesel Locomotives

Amtrak has three types of Genesis diesel locomotives, all of which were built by GE. The P40DC and P42DC are diesel locomotives used on Amtrak services throughout the country, with the exception of services to and from New York-Penn Station, where diesel locomotives are not permitted. The P32AC-DM is a dual-power locomotive that can operate using diesel power or electric power from a third rail, and as a result, is able to operate in to New York-Penn Station.

Amtrak F59PHI Diesel Locomotives

Amtrak uses EMD manufactured F59PHI locomotives on its California services, the Cascades service, the Coast Starlight, and Piedmont.

Amtrak Non-Powered Control Units

Amtrak converted surplus F40 locomotives in to non-powered control units that can operate at the front of a train in "push" mode. Many were modified to include a compartment for checked luggage. These can be found on a variety of services, including the Downeaster and Cascades.

Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Cars

Amtrak's Amfleet Passenger cars are found throughout much of the railroad's network. They come in coach class, business class, and cafe car configurations and are used on both short distance and long distance trains in the Northeast and Midwest. They also occasionally run in California. These cars have been in service since 1975.

Amtrak Superliner Passenger Cars

Amtrak's Superliner passenger cars are bi-level cars that operate on long distance services west of Chicago, as well as the Capitol Limited (Chicago-Washington) and Auto Train (Lorton-Sanford). These cars were built in sleeper, coach, diner, and lounge configurations. An additional configuration, the "transition-do", provides sleeping quarters for the train's crew as well as a vestibule to allow passage to a single level car, such as a locomotive or baggage car.

Amtrak California Cars

The "California Cars" were initially manufactured in 1996. These double-decker passenger coaches are modeled after the Superliner coaches, but modified to make them suitable for use on corridor services with frequent stops. They initially debuted on the San Diegan (now the Pacific Surfliner) but currently operate on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin services.

Amtrak Baggage, Mail, and Handling Cars

Many of the cars used for baggage on Amtrak trains that accept checked luggage were inherited by Amtrak from its predecessor railways in 1971.

Amtrak Company Cars

Amtrak's fleet includes several "company cars" that are used for official purposes by Amtrak officials. The cars can also be used for inspections of catenary and track geometry.

Amtrak Stations

Amtrak has stations in 46 of the 48 contiguous United States. The only states with no train service are South Dakota and Wyoming. Amtrak\'s busiest stations in terms of the number of boardings are New York, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston-South Station.

Amtrak California Buses

Specially branded motorcoaches are used for Thruway Motorcoach connections in California