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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A major Sacramento manufacturer just agreed to a $3.4 billion contract to build 73 new trains for Amtrak.

This is the largest North American Siemens Mobility Inc. contract in history, the company said. 

And they’re not just building any trains. They will be the first-of-their-kind hybrid battery locomotives. 

“We’re equipping these trains with dual power, so they’ll be able to run under overhead wire with electricity, emission-free,” said Michael Cahill, the president of Siemens Mobility Rolling Stock. “And then when there is no electrified corridors, they’ll also have a diesel motor on board to be able to run on diesel, but that’s clean diesel.” 

Amtrak said the fleet will replace trains that are nearly 50 years old, offer modern rail amenities and will be leveraged for state and northeast services.

These new trains will reshape the future of rail travel by replacing our aging 40-to-50-year old fleet with state-of-the-art, American-made equipment. This investment is essential to preserving and growing our Northeast Regional and state-supported services and will allow our customers to travel comfortably and safely, while reducing carbon emissions.

The new equipment will operate on the Northeast Corridor, long distance Palmetto and various state-supported routes that will replace Amtrak-owned Amfleet, Metroliner and state-owned equipment on certain routes throughout the country. Routes will include the Northeast Regional, Cascades, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Vermonter, Downeaster, Carolinian, Pennsylvanian, Keystone Service, Virginia Service and New Haven/Springfield Service.

Bill Flynn, Amtrak CEO

The passenger car will be equipped with the latest technology, too. 

“These trains are the best in modern technology. They’ll be more comfortable for passengers, they’ll have all of the modern amenities,” Cahill told FOX40. “They’re wider than the older trains. They’re accessible, fully accessible. Big windows, more comfortable seats and there’s some great technology onboard.” 

All 73 trains will be constructed in Siemens Mobility’s Sacramento facility, which just celebrated its 30th anniversary. 

This contract is likely to add even more jobs to the workforce. 

“So currently, we have about 2,100 employees and that’s growing all the time,” Cahill said. “In fact, we’re growing now, even in advance of this order and, of course, this order will help us even more.” 

California’s innovation economy is coming roaring back, and this $7.3 billion contract — one of the biggest of its kind — represents good paying jobs and further proves that California is a great place to do business. Based right here in Sacramento for 30 years, this Siemens facility is one of the largest such plants on the continent and one of the most sustainable, and this new contract cements California’s leadership in clean transportation and reducing carbon emissions.

Gavin Newsom, California Governor 

The company will have the option for up to 130 additional trains to support growth plans. 

“Train travel is by no means old school,” Cahill said. “Train travel is the way of the future, we’re convinced of it.” 

Amtrak said it expects the new fleet to add over 1.5 million riders annually.