After months of testing on the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak’s’ new ACS-64 electrics have been released for revenue service. The first revenue run was train No. 171 on February 7, 2014, which departed Boston’s South Station and went south to Washington Union Station. The ACS-64 for this first run was No. 600, the “class unit”. The first run was reported to be flawless, with the train running on time. Amtrak ordered 70 of the new locomotives, officially called Amtrak Cities Sprinter, from Siemens USA in Sacramento, CA. The 8,600 horsepower ACS-64s will replace Amtrak’s AEM7s and HHP-8s, which are 34 and 16 years old respectively, and have millions of miles of service on them. The new locomotives will eventually power all Northeast Regional and long-distance trains between Washington, New York and Boston. They also will operate on the Keystone Service between New York, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg, Pa. The new engines are equipped with Positive Train Control, which can automatically slow the train down if the engineer fails to do so when required, and have regenerative braking.
This photo shows the train southbound at Seabrook, MD.
Photo by Teresa Renner. Article by Alex Mayes.