WSDOT has new locomotive milestone

March 14, 2016

Written by Carolina Worrell, Managing Editor, Railway Age Magazine

The first engine has been installed in a new Siemens Charger locomotive, moving the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) one step closer to obtaining the state-of-the-art machines, the agency announced March 10, 2016.Website Insert Real Numbers copy

Siemens USA is building new diesel-electric locomotives for six states, including Washington. The new locomotives will power the Amtrak Cascades service that runs from Eugene, Ore., to Vancouver, B.C., and is jointly administrated by WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The new locomotives will have higher acceleration rates and top speeds, lower emission rates, on-board positive train control safety features and greater reliability.

Last month, the first locomotive engine was installed—a major step for the multi-state purchase agreement. Siemens released video footage to commemorate the milestone and give an idea of the size of the massive 4,400-horsepower Cummings QSK95 engine that was lowered into the locomotive body by crane.

The first locomotive shown in the video is being built for Illinois. WSDOT’s eight Charger locomotives are scheduled to be delivered later this year and, following extensive testing and commissioning, will be in service in early to mid- 2017.

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