AMTRAK SAN DIEGAN SERVICE
The Ticket to 2000 and
Amtrak Invests $100 Million In New California Rail
New Trains to Serve Southern California and Central Coast in 2000
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18 -- Amtrak has announced a $100 million
investment to purchase new passenger trains for the San Diegan corridor,
Amtrak's second busiest, serving more than 1.6 million passengers annually,
part of a larger program to modernize the Amtrak system and improve
operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. This acquisition represents
the single largest investment Amtrak has ever made in California.
"This equipment will demonstrate how significant capital investments
increase service reliability and improve customer satisfaction, allowing
service expansion to meet the region's growing demand for more transportation
alternatives and spur economic growth," said Amtrak Acting President
Executive Officer George D. Warrington. "It is most fitting that
trains will serve California -- a state which has demonstrated strong
leadership in integrating passenger rail with the state's transportation
A contract to manufacture eight new five-car train sets was awarded to
Alsthom Transportation Inc. (GATI). The new trains will begin servicing
San Diegans in early 2000, replacing multiple types of single-level Amtrak
equipment as much as 30 years old. The new dual-level train sets will
one Custom Class Car, one Coach/Cafe Car, two Coach Cars, and one
Coach/Baggage/Cab Car for a combined total of 425 seats.
While most elements of the new equipment were released today (see attached
fact sheet) in events commemorating the acquisition in Los Angeles and
Diego, Amtrak acknowledged many design and amenity features will be defined
consultation with customers and communities that will be served.
"The most important work is just beginning. To deliver a product
satisfy the transportation needs of the Central Coast and Southern California,
we need to hear from the communities and customers these new trains will
serve. And, we also need to consult with the people who will be responsible
for delivering the high quality service - our employees," said Gil
president of Amtrak West, one of three strategic business units of the
National Railroad Passenger Corporation.
The trains will be manufactured in Hornell, N.Y. with at least 75 percent
content inclusive of components and labor. GATI estimates this order
represent approximately 140 new jobs at the New York facility.
"We are proud to advance the tradition of passenger rail travel
in the U.S.
and particularly pleased to help Amtrak meet its goals to provide efficient
and comfortable transportation options in California," said GATI
Operating Officer Raymond Mancardi.
The equipment acquisition is made possible by the enactment of the Taxpayer
Relief Act of 1997 which provides Amtrak $2.2 billion in capital investment
funds. Access to these critical investment funds enabled Amtrak to secure
competitive private financing for the new San Diegan equipment. Additional
on-going federal investment in America's rail infrastructure is required,
as it is for roads and airports.
Amtrak has estimated that its overall federal capital needs total more
billion over the next five years. The $2.2 billion provided through
Taxpayer Relief Act is a significant first step, but the railroad's future
dependent upon receiving the remainder of the funds each year through
annual appropriations process.
San Diegan service is provided in partnership with the California Department
of Transportation (Caltrans) and Amtrak. Since 1990, Caltrans has invested
nearly $1 billion in passenger rail for new equipment, track and signal
improvements, station construction and restoration, and marketing and
The San Diegan corridor spans 347 miles through San Diego, Los Angeles,
Barbara and San Luis Obispo. During the last three years, ridership
San Diegan corridor has increased 13 percent and is part of a renaissance
rail travel in the United States, particularly true in the West. Amtrak
Coast services grew 10 percent in ridership during FY97 and accounted
nearly 70 percent of the system's ridership growth during the same period,
although these services account for only 18 percent of the company's
Amtrak, America's National Railroad Passenger Corporation, serves more
million customers annually on its national network of intercity trains
employs 23,000 people. Amtrak trains and connecting Thruway Motorcoaches
serve more than 500 communities in 45 states. An additional 48 million
customers use commuter services operated by Amtrak under contract to
GEC Alsthom, based in France, is a world leader in energy and rail transport
and is jointly owned by General Electric Company and Alcatel Alsthom
operating divisions including Transport. GEC Alsthom Transportation
the U.S. affiliate of GEC Alsthom Transport based in Hawthorne, N.Y.
manufacturing and engineering facilities of GATI are based in Hornell,
Amtrak's NEW SAN DIEGAN EQUIPMENT
Eight new bi-level train sets are being purchased by Amtrak for operation
the busy, state-supported San Diegan Corridor, representing $100 million
investment -- the single largest investment Amtrak has made in California
the company's history. Each five-car train will include 425 passenger
and exceed Buy America requirements and meet the standards set forth
Americans with Disabilities Act. Each train will consist of one Custom
Car, one Coach/Cafe Car, two Coach Cars, and one Coach/Baggage/Cab Car.
Each car will offer wide comfortable reclining seats; large panoramic
electrical outlets for laptop computers; ample overhead storage for carry-on
luggage; digital information display; and seating and accessible rest
the lower level for mobility-impaired passengers. In addition, every
be equipped with electric sliding doors controlled from a single location
only 10 inches above the station platform, allowing passengers to step
off the train with ease rather than wait for a conductor to lower and
train steps, as is presently required.
The trains will be manufactured by the New York-based GEC Alsthom
Transportation Inc. (GATI). The first train is expected to begin operation
the San Diegan Corridor in early 2000.
Coach Cars (2 per train) - Each Coach Car provides seating for 90 (18
level, 72 upper level).
Custom Class Car - Amtrak offers Custom Class service with reserved
for up to 77 (17 lower, 60 upper). Seats are roomier than coach class
and are equipped with personal in-seat audio and video systems. Custom
passengers will also enjoy special areas on both upper and lower levels,
providing complimentary beverage service.
Coach/Cafe - The lower level of the Coach/Cafe Car offers walk-up counter
service and at-table seating for 12 persons, as well as seating and rest
for mobility impaired passengers. The upper level provides coach seating
72, and each Coach/Cafe Car is also equipped with public cellular Railfone(R).
Coach/Baggage/Cab Car - Each Coach/Baggage/Cab Car provides seating for
lower level, 72 upper-level) and, on the upper level, an enclosed control
booth for locomotive engineer, enabling essential push-pull train operation.
F59PHI Locomotives - Each train set will be pulled/pushed by a new F59PHI
locomotive manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division. These
locomotives feature computer-controlled fuel injection systems for maximum
efficiency; specially designed cabs to protect crew members from noise
vibration; emissions well below California's most stringent standards;
unique aerodynamic style for low drag. Amtrak will begin accepting the
locomotives later this year.
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