Check out the new locomotives Amtrak just rolled out on the Empire Builder line

Feb 13, 2022

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There are pretty cool-looking new train engines that Amtrak just rolled out on its iconic Empire Builder route.

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(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

The new locomotives began running trains westbound from Chicago to Seattle last week. Amtrak says, “Locomotives 301 and 302 are among the first of 75 locomotives being delivered through 2024.”

(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

The Empire Builder line runs from Chicago through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. You can end your trip in Seattle or you can take it all the way to Portland, Oregon.

Related: A look inside Amtrak’s new rail cars

(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

These ALC-42 locomotives were built in partnership between Amtrak and Siemens Mobility, and Amtrak says they are much more environmentally friendly than the 1990’s-era engines that they are replacing. “They reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by more than 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent,” said Amtrak in a press release.

Related: The brand new Amtrak Acela fleet is coming; Here’s a look inside the new trains

(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

Amtrak had a news conference at Chicago Union Station to introduce the new locomotives.

(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

“We take our commitment to sustainability seriously at Amtrak. We’re focused on being the solution to get people out of cars and planes and onto rail for greater emissions reductions,” said Amtrak Vice President and Chief Mechanical Officer George Hull.

The trains are also built in the U.S. at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California.

(Photo courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak)

The new locomotives won’t be limited to the Empire Builder line either.

Amtrak says:

“These locomotives will power trains used on these services: Auto Train (suburban Washington to suburban Orlando), California Zephyr (Chicago to San Francisco Bay), Capitol Limited (Washington to Chicago), Cardinal (New York to Chicago), City of New Orleans (Chicago to New Orleans), Coast Starlight (Seattle to Los Angeles), Crescent (New York to New Orleans), Empire Builder (Chicago to Seattle/Portland), Lake Shore Limited (New York/Boston to Chicago), Palmetto (New York to Savannah) Silver Star & Silver Meteor (New York to Miami), Southwest Chief (Chicago to Los Angeles), Sunset Limited (New Orleans to Los Angeles) and Texas Eagle (Chicago to San Antonio, Texas).”

“Amtrak’s historic Empire Builder is getting a facelift with today’s debut of two new locomotives. Rail passengers will enjoy cleaner, more reliable service with the state-of-the-art ALC-42 locomotives in place,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. She continued, “I’m looking forward to even more improvements in the coming years, thanks to $22 billion in Amtrak funding passed as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

Related: NYC’s hottest new bar? Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge

Featured image courtesy of Marc Glucksman/River Rail Photo for Amtrak.

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