Alstom wins $2 billion US train deal
Alstom and Amtrak announced on August 26 that they had signed a contract for Alstom to design and build 28 new high-speed trains, which will run on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington, D.C. Amtrak and Alstom also signed a long-term contract under which Alstom will provide Amtrak with long-term technical support and supply spare components and parts for the maintenance of the new trainsets. Together, these contracts are worth $2 billion.
“One out of every seven Americans” live in the region
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said at a ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware, that strengthening the Northeast Corridor (NEC) line is crucial as “this area from Boston to Washington, D.C. is home to one out of every seven Americans.”
The line covers roughly 450 miles. In just over ten years, the number of passengers has increased from 2.4 million passengers in 2002 to 3.5 million in 2014. As part of an effort to renew and expand their premium product, Amtrak has therefore decided to purchase new trainsets to replace the existing Acela trains, thus increasing passenger capacity, providing more frequent service, minimizing journey times, and improving operating costs and energy efficiency.
Production and maintenance in the US
Most of the Avelia Liberty for Amtrak will be manufactured in the United States. The new trainsets will be manufactured at Alstom’s historic site in Hornell, NY where 8,000 cars have been assembled since the opening of the factory 150 years ago. They will be maintained in the depots of Amtrak in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. under a specific agreement with additional support from Alstom’s sites in New York, Delaware and Illinois. These contracts will result in the creation of more than 1,000 jobs nationwide, including 750 in New York with 400 of those at Alstom facilities. Alstom employs more than 1,900 people across the USA.
In nearly 40 years, Alstom has sold more than 1,100 Avelia high speed trains around the world and equipped over 300 more with its technology. As of today, Alstom’s Avelia high-speed trains have covered over 6.4 billion kilometers in 20 countries and transported 4 billion passengers.