Modern Passenger Train Equipment

Creating a future for building Modern Passenger Train Equipment

Two years ago, NARP created a vision using a grid and gateway network designating nationwide routes where rail passenger service would be well used.

The next step is to begin fulfilling this vision.  New passenger train equipment is the key to start bringing this to a reality.  Because engineering, design, and construction of new equipment can take several years, a strategy of increasing capacity and growth is needed as soon as possible.

All new locomotives and railcars must be able to run at 125 MPH. With that in mind, NARP presents a fleet expansion plan that identifies rolling stock that can be placed in service within 2 years, in 3-5 years, and beyond 5 years.

We acknowledge that Amtrak’s RFP for 130 Single Level cars is an important step in the right direction, but we propose additional cars to greatly increase capacity and allow for growth in the east.  Therefore we offer the following strategy for acquiring gear:

Restore 11 Amfleet and 4 Superliner cars in addition to Amtrak’s current plan to restore 81 wreck damaged and stored cars.

Use these 96 cars to:
1. Add capacity on existing trains
2. Restore Sunset Limited service east to Orlando and operate it daily
3. Operate daily Cardinal service
4 Restore daily NY Chicago service via Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toledo, and South Bend (formerly the Three Rivers).

The goal is more and better service for the American people. If this goal can be achieved with different design and technology, we will be in full support. Absent this, we offer the following recommendation:

Begin an RFP for a total of 750 cars for delivery in three to five years: 400 Bilevel [Surfliner] and 350 Single level cars.

Use the 350 Single level cars as follows:
• 130 cars for which an RFP has been issued:. 105 to replace 50-60 year old equipment, 25 to increase capacity on existing trains.
• Further expand eastern long distance trains by exercising the option for 70 additional cars
• Replace the Amfleet 2 cars on the eastern long distance trains by ordering 150 Coach and Lounge cars. 
• Expand eastern regional services using the 150 existing Amfleet 2 cars to:
1. Lengthen NEC trains
2. Add Piedmont service frequencies
3. Lengthen existing Empire service trains, add frequencies, extend service to Ohio
4. Extend Downeaster service to Rockland, add frequencies
5. Add Pennsylvanian frequencies, and extend service to Chicago
6. Add frequencies to all existing Virginia services

Use the 400 Bilevel cars as follows:  [with the option for 175 additional cars]
• Replace 100 deteriorating Horizon cars in the mid-west.
• Hold the Horizon cars for emergencies and charter trains which don’t require intensive use: School Patrol trains, Reno Fun Trains, Hurricane trains, Del Mar Race track specials, , Boy Scout excursions, etc.
• Use 40 to meet California’s immediate needs. 
• Use 260 to increase capacity, add national network service and new regional services.

1. New Services:

Chicago <--> Seattle-Portland service via Southern Montana
Chicago <--> Seattle-Portland service via Denver and Salt Lake City
DFW <--> Austin <--> San Antonio
DFW <-->Houston
Houston <--> San Antonio
New Orleans <--> Baton Rouge
New Orleans <--> Mobile
Chicago <--> Minneapolis
Chicago <--> Dubuque, IA
Chicago <--> Quad Cities
Cleveland <--> Columbus <--> Cincinnati
Cleveland <--> Chicago
Los Angeles <--> Las Vegas
Bay Area <--> Reno

2.Added Frequencies:
Extended Heartland Flyer
Lincoln service
Wolverine service
Surfliner service

3. Add capacity to existing National Network trains.

New Motive Power will be needed to replace the existing diesel fleet and power new services
220 units to replace existing fleet
80 units for new services.

Begin design and engineering on train sets for delivery beginning in 5 years and into the future which will create a vibrant passenger train equipment building industry in America:
a. High speed service [Electric and Gas turbine powered]
b. Regional higher speed service [Gas turbine and diesel powered]
c. National network services.[Diesel powered]

Besides the Acela trains which run exclusively in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), we will need two fleets of train sets for service in the east:
• One which will run exclusively outside the NEC and need only accommodate nine-inch-above-the-rail platforms.
• One that can serve both 48” platforms (NEC stations) and nine-inch platforms, for the many trains that provide through-service between points inside and outside the NEC.