Today it was announced that Siemens has been selected to build the locomotives and passenger coaches for the All Aboard Florida passenger rail project that will connect South and Central Florida. All Aboard Florida and Siemens have been working together extensively on the development and design of the passenger rail cars that will transport millions of tourists, leisure, and business travelers along Florida’s east coast.
This will be the first privately-owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States. When completed, it will also be one of the highest speed train routes running in the country today, operating at maximum speeds up to 125 mph. Importantly these trains, both the locomotives and the passenger coaches, will be “Made in America” at Siemens’ solar-powered rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento.
“This is an exciting time for rail in America. Intercity rail is an important lever to improve existing infrastructure challenges and bolster city and state economies, clearly something that All Aboard Florida will succeed at doing,” said Michael Cahill, President of Siemens’ Rail Systems Division in the U.S. “Everyone is watching the development of this progressive operation with great interest, and we are extremely proud to be part of this effort.”
“Our partnership with Siemens is another tremendous step forward for All Aboard Florida. We carefully chose Siemens technology knowing it will set a new industry standard, while providing the world class amenities our customers will expect from our passenger service,” said Don Robinson, All Aboard Florida President and Chief Operating Officer.
The initial five trainset purchase to serve the Miami to West Palm Beach segment will consist of two diesel-electric locomotives, one on each end of four passenger coaches. These diesel-electric locomotives will meet the highest emissions standards set by the federal government. All Aboard Florida and Siemens plan to expand the initial trainsets to seven coaches, and purchase an additional five trainsets, concurrent with environmental approvals and additional financing for the segment from West Palm Beach to the Orlando International Airport.
The stainless steel passenger coaches, the first to be manufactured by Siemens in the United States, will be state-of-the-art, ADA compliant and designed for comfort, featuring special ergonomic seating and Wi-Fi. The trainsets will also be level boarding, which allows for the ease of boarding without steps and provides easier access for bikes, walkers, strollers, and wheelchairs. The locomotives will meet the latest federal rail safety regulations, including enhanced carbody structure safety with crash energy management components.
These trains are fully Buy America-compliant. They will be built in Sacramento with main components of the trains coming from Siemens plants throughout the United States – including traction motors and gearboxes from Norwood, Ohio, and propulsion containers from Alpharetta, Georgia. The diesel engines will be manufactured by Cummins in its Seymour, Indiana, plant. Siemens has established a robust and diverse base of U.S. suppliers across the country that currently provides components and parts for all of Siemens’ U.S. passenger-rail vehicle production. Siemens’ Sacramento plant, which has been in operation for almost 30 years, is up to 80 percent powered by two megawatts of solar energy and currently employs more than 800 people. The trains will be maintained and serviced in West Palm Beach and the Orlando International Airport ensuring full-time employment for more than 120 people.