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Old Posted Jan 23, 2019, 4:28 PM
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Great news for Amtrak - Amfleet's to be retired - 21st century rolling stock procured

January 20, 2019

After 40-plus years, Amfleet I replacements sought

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Penn Central Metroliner 864 at Princeton Junction, N.J., August 1971. Photo by Roger Puta/Wikimedia Commons.

Amtrak on Jan. 18 released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new fleet of single-level passenger cars to replace its dependable but decades-old, 470-unit stable of Amfleet I and ex-Metroliner cars, which were converted from electric-multiple-units years ago. The Amfleet I cars date to 1975, while the ex-Metroliner equipment entered service in January 1969 for Amtrak predecessor Penn Central (PC predecessor Pennsylvania Railroad ordered this equipment in 1966).

A base order will include “75 trainsets or their railcar equivalents” with options to provide equipment for Washington D.C.-New York-Boston Northeast Corridor Northeast Regional service and adjacent state-supported routes, including Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Vermonter, Downeaster, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Keystone Service, Virginia Service and New Haven/Springfield Service trains.

The new equipment will have “contemporary rail amenities to better serve Amtrak customers,” Amtrak said. These will include improved Wi-Fi equipment and connectivity, improved seating, weather-tight doors and vestibules, larger windows (larger than the aircraft-style narrow slits that have contributed to the Budd Company-built Amfleet cars being referred to as “AmCans” and “AmTubes”), improved climate control systems and completely new designs for restrooms and passageways between cars. The new equipment will feature bi-directional operating capability that Amtrak says “will minimize endpoint turnaround times and provide operating efficiency.”

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