Siemens ACS-64

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Siemens ACS-64
Northeast Regional 152 (12384830114).jpg
Amtrak ACS-64 No. 600 leading Northeast Regional train No. 152 near Odenton, MD on February 8, 2014
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder Siemens Mobility
Order number Amtrak: 70
SEPTA: 13 (option for 5 additional)
Build date Amtrak: 2012-2015
SEPTA: 2015-2018
 • AAR B-B
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Trucks Siemens model SF4
Wheel diameter 1,117 mm (43.98 in) (new)
1,041 mm (40.98 in) (worn)
Minimum curve 76 m (249 ft 4.1 in)
Wheelbase 9.9 m (32 ft 5.8 in)
(bogie centre distance)
Length 20.32 m (66 ft 8 in)
Width 2,984 mm (9 ft 9.5 in)
Height 3,810 mm (12 ft 6 in) (excluding pantograph)
Axle load 54,250 lb (24.61 t)
Adhesive weight 100%
Loco weight 215,537 lb (97.766 t)
Electric system(s) 12 kV, 25 Hz AC, Catenary
12.5 kV, 60 Hz AC, Catenary
25 kV, 60 Hz AC, Catenary
Current source Pantograph
Traction motors 3-phase, AC, Fully Suspended, Siemens built (Norwood, Ohio)[1]
Head end power 1,000 kW (1,300 hp) 3-phase, 60 Hz, 480 VAC, 1000 kVA
Transmission Pinion Hollow Shaft Drive w/ Partially Suspended Gearboxes
MU working Yes
Loco brake Regenerative braking, NYAB Electro-Pneumatic Cheek Mounted Disk Brakes[2]
Train brakes Electro-Pneumatic[3]
Safety systems FRA standards
Performance figures
Maximum speed 125 mph (200 km/h) Service
135 mph (220 km/h) Design[5]
Power output 6,400 kW (8,600 hp) Maximum (Short-Time)
5,000 kW (6,700 hp) Continuous
Tractive effort Starting:
320 kN (72,000 lbf)
Continuous (5,000 kW (6,700 hp)):
282 kN (63,000 lbf)@40 mph (64 km/h)
89 kN (20,000 lbf)@125 mph (200 km/h)
Short-time (6,400 kW (8,600 hp)):
270 kN (61,000 lbf)@53.5 mph (86 km/h)
115 kN (26,000 lbf)@125 mph (200 km/h)
Factor of adh. 2.99 (33.4%)
Brakeforce 5,000 kW (6,700 hp) Maximum[6]
Operators Amtrak, SEPTA
  • Amtrak: 600-665, 667-670
  • SEPTA: 6401-6418 (tentative)
Nicknames Sprinters
Delivered 2013-2016 [7]
First run February 7, 2014
Sources:[8] except where noted

The Siemens ACS-64, or Amtrak Cities Sprinter, is an electric locomotive designed by Siemens Mobility for use in the northeastern United States. The first 70 locomotives built are to operate on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and the Keystone Corridor, replacing Amtrak's existing fleet of AEM-7 and HHP-8 locomotives.[9] The first Amtrak ACS-64 entered service in February 2014; deliveries continued until 2016. SEPTA Regional Rail will receive 13 locomotives (with an option to purchase 5 additional units) for commuter service in 2018.


Amtrak ACS-64 No. 601, testing at Transportation Technology Center, Inc. on June 8, 2013. 601 was involved in the 2015 Philadelphia train derailment.

The design is based on the EuroSprinter and the Vectron platforms, which Siemens markets in Europe and Asia.[10] Significant structural changes to the design were made to comply with American crashworthiness requirements, including the addition of crumple zones and anti-climbing features as well as structural strengthening of the cab, resulting in a heavier locomotive than the previous models.[7][4] The body is a monocoque structure with integral frames and sidewalls.[4]

The locomotives are able to operate from the 25 kV 60 Hz, 12.5 kV 60 Hz, and 12 kV 25 Hz power supplies used on the Northeast Corridor, and have a maximum power of 6,400 kilowatts (8,600 hp).[10] The locomotives are designed to be capable of accelerating 18 Amfleet cars to maximum speeds as high as 125 mph (201 km/h) on the Northeast Corridor in a little over eight minutes,[11] with trains of eight Amfleets taking two and a half minutes to reach the same speed.[12] They have advanced safety systems, including specialized couplers designed to keep trains from rolling over, jackknifing, or derailing during a collision.[13] Additionally, the new locomotives are more energy-efficient than those that they replace, and lack dynamic braking grids in favor of 100% regenerative braking, depending on grid receptiveness. Energy generated from the brake may also be utilized to meet HEP needs, further reducing current draw from the grid.[13]

Each locomotive has two electrical converter units with three IGBT based, water cooled output inverters per converter. Two of the inverters power the traction motors; the third unit supplies head-end and auxiliary power.[4] The HEP/auxiliary inverters are dual-redundant and identical (rated 1,000 kW or 1,300 hp), allowing the locomotive to remain in service should one inverter fail en route.[11] The locomotive bogies are fabricated steel designs, with low-lying traction links and center pivot pin. The traction motors are frame-mounted, with torque transmitted via a hollow shaft drive. Locomotive braking is facilitated by cheek mounted disc brakes on each wheel.[4]

In order to comply with "Buy American" laws, the locomotives are being manufactured at Siemens' factory in Florin, California, with traction and electrical equipment being manufactured at Siemens facilities in Norcross and Alpharetta, Georgia.[7] Traction inverters are manufactured in Alpharetta, and the traction motors and gear units are manufactured in Norwood, Ohio.[6]

Amtrak order[edit]


Vice President Joe Biden sits at the controls of No. 600 at a publicity event in February 2014

In October 2010, Amtrak ordered 70 locomotives at a cost of US$466 million, to be delivered beginning in February 2013.[14] The order was the second part of Amtrak's company-wide fleet-replacement program, after an order for 130 Viewliner II passenger cars was placed in July 2010. On June 30, 2011, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that Amtrak had received a US$562.9 million loan from the federal government's Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing program for the new locomotives.[15] The additional funding over and above the $466 million will cover capital spare parts and facility improvements to accommodate the ACS-64s.

Amtrak and Siemens Mobility unveiled the first three completed locomotives on May 13, 2013. They were tested during the summer of 2013: Nos. 600 and 601 at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, and No. 602 on the NEC.[16][17]

On February 6, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden visited 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to tour ACS-64 #600. In his subsequent remarks he stressed the importance of infrastructure investment as well as the important role Amtrak's new locomotives will play in serving the critical artery of the Northeast Corridor.[18]

Amtrak and Siemens celebrated the completion of the last ACS-64, #670, at Sacramento on June 2, 2016. The celebration concluded with unit #670 being towed by Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman's train bound for Washington, DC.[19] Locomotive #670 entered service in August 2016, completing the acceptance of the Amtrak order.[20]


Amtrak ACS-64 No. 600 leading its first revenue trip on February 7, 2014

Unit 600 entered service on February 7, 2014, on Northeast Regional train 171 from Boston to Washington, D.C.[21] As the new locomotives entered service, they gradually displaced the electric locomotives that Amtrak had previously operated. The extra six ACS-64 units are to be used to increase the number of locomotives available for use at any point, and to add more frequent service in the future.[9] The final unit was delivered from Siemens in June 2016.[19]

In November 2014, Amtrak named ACS-64 No. 600 the David L. Gunn in honor of the longtime transportation official who has served at many agencies.

In May 2015, ACS-64 No. 642 was painted in a red "Salute our Veterans" scheme, similar to a previous scheme on P42DC diesel locomotive #42.[22]

On May 12, 2015, No. 601 was pulling Northeast Regional No. 188 when it derailed at Frankford Junction in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia due to excessive speed on a restricted curve.[23][24]

On April 3, 2016, No. 627 pulling the Palmetto hit a backhoe on the track and derailed in Chester, Pa, killing two trackside workers.[25][26]

SEPTA order[edit]

In May 2015, SEPTA (Philadelphia's mass-transit authority) approved an order for 13 ACS-64 locomotives for commuter service to replace its 7 AEM-7 and single ALP-44 locomotives on push-pull express trains, with an option for an additional five locomotives to be added to the order. The total contract value, including the option locomotives, is worth $154,394,083. They are scheduled for delivery in 2018.[27][28] On November 11, 2015, Siemens announced that it was awarded the $118 million contract for the initial 13 locomotives.[29][30]

On February 29, 2016, Amtrak unit 664 began test runs on SEPTA Regional Rail branches to test the height of the locomotives on SEPTA territory, and to ensure clearance through the Center City Tunnel.[31] After testing the unit on most of SEPTA's lines, it was returned to Amtrak on March 21, 2016, for completion of its acceptance testing.[32] Beginning in July 2016, SEPTA leased two ACS-64 units and five Amfleet cars as emergency rolling stock after all Silverliner V cars were temporarily pulled from service.[33]


  1. ^ "DOT Announces $562.9 Million Amtrak Loan for 70 Locomotives to Run on Northeast Corridor (Archived)". United States Department of Transportation. June 29, 2011. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "ACS-64 Amtrak Cities Sprinter Electric Locomotive" (PDF). Siemens. October 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Amtrak (February 15, 2011). "PRIIA Specifications for single level cars" (PDF). Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Latour, Michael (September 2011). "A new face in the Northeast Corridor". Railway Gazette International. 167 (9). 
  5. ^ "Siemens AG bags $466-mn order from US railroad company Amtrak". October 29, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "ACS-64 InfoGraphic and Fact Sheet" (PDF). Siemens. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c "Amtrak orders Siemens 200 km/h Cities Sprinter locomotives". Railway Gazette International. October 29, 2010. Archived from the original on November 1, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Amtrak City Sprinter Class ACS64 Electric Locomotive For Amtrak’s North East Corridor (NEC) High Speed Passenger Service" (PDF). Siemens AG Infrastructure & Cities Sector Rail Systems Division. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Amtrak contracts Siemens to supply 70 electric locomotives". Progressive Railroading. October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Siemens breaks into the U.S. long-distance passenger rail market". October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b Michael Latour (June 2011). "Amtrak ACS-64: Speed, power, efficiency". Railway Age. 
  12. ^ "In-cab video of 601 + 8 Amfleets performing an acceleration test at Pueblo, CO". August 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Amtrak orders 70 new electric locomotives from Siemens". Trains. October 29, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Amtrak receives $562.9m loan to purchase 70 locomotives for Northeast Corridor". June 30, 2011. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  16. ^ Siemens USA. "Siemens Provides First Look at New Amtrak Locomotives". Synaptic Digital. Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Amtrak (May 13, 2013). "AMTRAK UNVEILS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY LOCOMOTIVES FOR NORTHEAST SERVICE; Siemens-built equipment to improve reliability, efficiency and mobility" (PDF). Retrieved November 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ Matheson, Kathy (6 February 2014). "Biden stresses infrastructure investment in Philly". Associated Press. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Siemens completes 70th ACS-64 locomotive for Amtrak". Progressive Railroading. 2 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "ACS-64 Locomotives Usher in New Era of Mobility on Northeast Corridor". All Aboard: The Official Blog of Amtrak (Press release). Amtrak. August 2016. 
  21. ^ "NEW AMTRAK LOCOMOTIVES READY FOR SERVICE AND SET TO POWER NORTHEAST ECONOMY" (PDF) (Press release). Amtrak. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Second Amtrak veterans' locomotive in-transit to Northeast". Train Magazine. 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015 – via Trains Magazine Newswire. (Subscription required (help)). 
  23. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (13 May 2015). "At least 5 dead as Amtrak train derails in Port Richmond". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Melissa Gray (16 May 2015). "Amtrak installs speed controls at fatal crash site". CNN. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Stamm, Dan (April 3, 2016). "2 Die as Amtrak Train Strikes Backhoe Causing Fireball". NBC Philadelphia. Retrieved April 3, 2016. 
  27. ^ Nussbaum, Paul (May 27, 2015). "SEPTA plans to spend $154 million on new locomotives". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "May 2015 Special Agenda" (PDF). Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. May 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  29. ^ Worrell, Carolina (November 11, 2015). "Siemens to build new locomotives for SEPTA". 
  30. ^ Siemens USA (November 11, 2015). "Siemens to build 13 electric locomotives for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority". 
  31. ^ "SEPTA testing an ACS-64 in March". Trains News Wire. 1 March 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  32. ^ "Railfan Pictures of the Week - 3/27/2016". The Philadelphia Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. 27 March 2016. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. 
  33. ^ Smith, Sandy (8 July 2016). "SEPTA to Add 1,700 Regional Rail Seats Starting Monday". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 

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