Amtrak Demand Surging – New Trainsets Ordered for the Carolinian & Other Intercity Routes

Amtrak Airo Intercity Train Concept Exterior Close-Up

Yesterday Amtrak announced they will procure 10 additional Airo trainsets bringing the total up to 83. These modern and faster (up to 125 mph) trains will roll out in 2026, replacing some of Amtrak’s aging fleet that dates back to the 70s.

Amtrak is ordering more and more trains at an ever-increasing pace. The new Acela II high-speed trains that will operate in the Northeast Corridor are in production, and Amtrak this year said they’re starting the process of replacing the old overnight trains that operate on some of the longest routes.

These new trains are funded by the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the total cost will be around $7.3 billion dollars.

In addition to the Northeast Regional, the new Airo trains will operate on other routes, including the Empire Service, Virginia Services, Keystone Service, Downeaster, Amtrak Cascades, Maple Leaf, New Haven/Springfield Service, Palmetto, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Vermonter, Ethan Allen Express and Adirondack.

The Airo trains can be powered by diesel or overhead wires, which means for routes like the Carolinian, the train won’t need to change locomotives in Washington DC. This will cut travel times by around 30 minutes!

The new trainsets will be made in the US by Siemens Mobility in California.

The Amtrak Airo trainsets offer several key features:

💺 Spacious, Comfortable Seats

  • Features: Dedicated power outlets, USB-C ports, seatback tablet and phone holders, larger and sturdier tray tables, and adjustable cup holders.
  • Comfort: Contoured seat cushions, enhanced legroom, individual armrests, adjustable headrests with ergonomic focus.

📍 Trip and Train Navigation

  • Signage: Color-coded and bold signage for identifying amenities and differentiating service classes on board and at platforms.

🌱 Greener Impact

  • Fuel Efficiency: More fuel-efficient design significantly reduces particulate emissions during diesel operations.
  • Environment: Dedicated water stations on each trainset, providing chilled and filtered hydration while minimizing disposable plastic bottle usage.

🧑‍💻 Modern Tech

  • Connectivity: New 5Ghz Wi-Fi connectivity for passengers.
  • Information Systems: Updated digital information systems for passengers’ convenience.

♿️ Enhanced Accessibility

  • Inclusivity: Spacious and accessible restrooms, vestibules, and Café cars equipped with integrated boarding equipment for passengers with reduced mobility.
  • Hearing Assistance: Inductive hearing technology to aid passengers with onboard announcements.

🍽️ Café Car

  • Dining Experience: Contemporary food service designed for quick grab-and-go experiences.

🚾 Restrooms

  • Hygiene: Touchless operation and spacious, accessible interiors for passenger comfort.

📈 Business Class

  • Seating: Increased space between seats in Business Class, offering double and single seat options, wider armrests, extra outlets, footrests, and improved ambiance.

💡 Lighting

  • Ambiance: Enhanced lighting for a softer yet functional interior, with individual reading lights provided at each seat.

🧳 Luggage

  • Storage: Access to ample storage space for passengers’ luggage and belongings.

This comprehensive list of improvements and features indicates a focus on passenger comfort, convenience, accessibility, and sustainability, while incorporating modern technology to enhance the overall train travel experience.

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