Amtrak launches new passenger cars in the Midwest

Feb 2, 2022

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated 


Amtrak quietly launched a handful of new passenger cars into service in the Midwest earlier this week, perhaps a preview of the company’s $7.3 billion investment in a new fleet of Siemens trains aimed at modernizing Amtrak service.

Although these new trains are only operational on one route via Amtrak Midwest, these are likely the same trains that will replace most of the Northeast Corridor cars within a few years.

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For now, at least, passengers can only experience four new train cars when traveling Chicago (CHI) – St. Louis (STL). Amtrak expects to continue its rollout throughout the state-supported network route running through the Heartland, which includes additional routes in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, as reported by Runway Girl Network.

Amtrak did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

The outlet also said the Midwest fleet of trains includes 54 coach cars and 17 business/coach cars to be rolled out in March 2022 and 17 cafe/coach cars later this year or in early 2023.

“These car bodies will eventually appear system-wide, except on the long-distance trains, including the Empire Builder, Southwest Chief and Coast Starlight,” said Jim Matthews, CEO of the Rail Passengers Association in Washington, D.C.

In July, Amtrak poured $7.3 billion into modernizing 83 new trains for select interstate and Northeast routes. At that time, Amtrak touted updated amenities, including “more comfortable seating, individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi, enhanced lighting and panoramic windows, larger vestibules, self-service food options, a digital seat reservation system and navigation display systems,” among others.

These updates, in addition to a “glass-enclosed luggage rack” and “dedicated bicycle storage area in every coach” were confirmed by passengers on board and shared on Twitter.

This is a good preview of what’s to come for Amtrak as they continue to modernize the rail experience.

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

Featured photo by of an Amtrak train at Penn Station on Dec. 16, 2021 by Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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