Updated: Dec 19, 2022
Starting in 2026, Amtrak will be using their new train the Airo on its east coast services. These new train sets are being built by Siemens and based on the Venture coach platform. They will feature: digital display boards, automatic doors, wifi, touchless bathrooms, a new cafe car design, power outlets at every seat, more table seating and a 2-1 business class configuration. Amtrak will also be introducing a new seat reservation system in coach, which it has been severely lacking.
The train will be powered by a dual mode Siemens locomotive, similar to the Siemens Charger we see on the Brightline. However, this Charger will have electric capabilities to transition from overhead wire to diesel power, eliminating the need to change locomotives at Union Station in Washington, DC. The trains will have a top operating speed of 125 mph and will have a new cap car to make turnarounds more efficient. They will be replacing the Genesis locomotives and the Amfleet 1 and 2 coaches which in some cases are almost 50 years old.
Within the Southeast, these new train sets will only run on the “short distance” routes that radiate from the NEC: the Palmetto, Carolina and the Virginia Services.
To say the least, these new train sets will put the US on par with the trains of Europe and Asia.
What do you think of these new trains?