July 17, 2009

Amtrak unveils railcar refurbished with ARRA funds


Doug Riddell Photo Courtesy of Amtrak


Amtrak unveiled the first of 81 passenger railcars to be removed from storage, restored to good condition and returned to service as part of a program to add seating capacity to trains across its national system using ARRA funds, said Amtrak President/CEO Joseph Boardman.

The first car completed under this program is one of 60 Amfleet passenger railcars to be rehabilitated at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Bear, Del., using $58.5 million in ARRA funds. Funding from ARRA also is supporting similar work at the Amtrak maintenance facility in Beech Grove, Ind., including $19.3 million to restore and return to service 20 Superliner cars and one Viewliner car, plus $13 million for 15 P-40 locomotives.

To perform all of this work, Amtrak has hired 55 employees at the Delaware facility and 108 at the Indiana location. In addition, Amtrak has added more than 200 other jobs to work on numerous other ARRA funded projects across its system.

The car unveiled Monday, Amfleet II Coach Car #25103, was damaged in a yard collision in Hialeah, Fla., and has been out of service since April 2005. Following repair of the damage it underwent a major overhaul to bring it up-to-date in standard design, colors, amenities and federal safety requirements.

This rehabilitation, known as a Level 3 Overhaul, includes a complete update of the car's interior, exterior, mechanical systems, electrical systems, trucks, wheel assemblies, airbrakes and restrooms. It cost about $687,000 to get it back in as-new working condition.

Coach Car #25103 will return to active service within the next week and will be part of a pool of equipment used by Amtrak trains to carry passengers over 10 routes ranging from New York-to-Chicago and New York-to-Miami.

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