New clean, efficient, high-performance diesel-electric locomotives roll into the Midwest

New clean, efficient, high-performance diesel-electric locomotives roll into the Midwest

By: Armin Kick, Vice President of Locomotive and High-Speed Trainsets, Siemens Mobility


Today at Chicago’s historic Union Station, I was excited to join Amtrak, the Illinois Department of Transportation and our additional state DOT customers to unveil the clean diesel Charger locomotive. This is one of 33 that will help usher in a new era of clean passenger rail travel across the Midwest. The Buy America-compliant locomotives, built at our 1,000-person Sacramento, CA plant which is powered in part by solar, will operate across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri.

Caption: Amtrak's clean diesel Charger locomotive

The Charger locomotive is powered by a high-performance, environmentally friendly, 4,400 horsepower-rated Cummins QSK95 diesel engine. Designed to operate at speeds up to 125 miles per hour, the locomotives are the first high-speed passenger locomotive to receive Tier 4 emissions certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


The new locomotives are also among the cleanest in the nation and will result in dramatic emission reduction of approximately 90 percent compared to trains in the Midwest powered by currently operating Tier 0 locomotives. They are equipped with electronically-controlled regenerative braking systems that use energy from the traction motors during braking to feed the auxiliary and head-end power systems to minimize fuel consumption.

Caption: Armin Kick, Siemens Vice President, Lcomotives and High-speed trainsets


The powerful diesel-electric operation allows for better acceleration, cleaner emissions, and low noise levels while on-board and waiting at the platform. The Chargers also feature an attractive streamlined design and smoother traction control which results in better ride quality for passengers. The locomotives also meet the latest federal rail safety regulations, including enhanced carbody structure safety with crash energy management components like a locomotive cab safety cage and push-back couplers.


Caption: Michael Franke, Amtrak Senior Director, State Government Contracts


All main components of the new locomotive are produced in Siemens plants in the United States – including traction motors and gearboxes in Norwood, Ohio and propulsion containers in Alpharetta, GA. Siemens has also established a robust and diverse base of U.S. suppliers across the country to support production of the Charger locomotives including diesel engines manufactured by Cummins in Seymour, Indiana, cooling systems from Belmont, Michigan and lighting fixtures from Germantown, Wisconsin.


We’re excited to watch these locomotives go from design, to manufacturing, to reality for riders across the Midwest and for our other Charger customers across the U.S. If you want to learn more about the project, visit our Interactive News Release.


Publsihed On: August 28th, 2017