Amtrak is spending $7.3 billion on hybrid power trains.
The taxpayer-subsidized rail company is contracting with Siemens, which will manufacture the eighty-three trains in Sacramento, California.
According to Amtrak’s press release:
The latest trains will feature more comfortable seating, individual power outlets and USB ports, onboard Wi-Fi, enhanced lighting and panoramic windows, larger vestibules, a more contemporary food service experience, including self-service options, as well as state-of-the-art customer trip information, digital seat reservation system and navigation display systems. The trains were designed with the latest health and safety standards, including enhanced HVAC, touchless restroom controls, and automated steps.
Amtrak touted the trains’ multi-power systems, which will permit “a substantial environmental benefit through reduced criteria pollutants compared to the existing fleet.”
“These new trains, some of which will be our first hybrid battery operations in the United States, will transform the way Americans travel,” remarked Siemens executive Michael Cahill. “Over the past decade, we’ve worked closely with Amtrak and its state partners to develop and deliver trains that meet the needs of America’s travelers, these next generation trainsets build on that experience and offer much more.”
“Based right here in Sacramento for 30 years, this Siemens facility is one of the largest such plants on the continent and one of the most sustainable, and this new contract cements California’s leadership in clean transportation and reducing carbon emissions,” added Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA).
Throughout his four decades in the Senate, President Biden frequently advocated for increases in funding to Amtrak. Since his inauguration, the Commander-in-Chief has stressed a desire to promote green energy within the rail service.
As he stated during a celebration of Amtrak’s fiftieth anniversary in April:
And, as I’ve said from the beginning, when I think about fighting climate change, I think about jobs. And rail and hopefully the expansion of rail provides good union jobs, good-paying jobs. It also connects people to jobs and economic opportunities that can be reached from wherever you live.
Accordingly, the American Jobs Plan — President Biden’s $2.7 trillion infrastructure bill — contains multiple provisions that would increase spending on climate change solutions. For instance, the legislation suggests allocating “$35 billion in the full range of solutions needed to achieve technology breakthroughs that address the climate crisis and position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs.”
On his first day in office, President Biden nixed the contract for the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have transported over 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. He subsequently promised green energy jobs to the thousands of Americans who lost positions.
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