Biden Visit to Philadelphia Rail Station Signals Progress in Getting U.S. on Track for High-Speed Rail

Midwest High Speed Rail Association Hails today’s debut of Amtrak's newest high-speed locomotive

CHICAGO (February 6, 2014)--The Midwest High Speed Rail Association today hailed the debut of Amtrak's newest high-speed locomotive. Vice President Joe Biden today debuted Amtrak's “Cities Sprinter” locomotives at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The new 150 mph locomotives, built in California with significant Midwest content, feature higher safety features, including onboard computers that can detect, diagnose and correct safety and mechanical problems.  Their increased energy efficiency though advance regenerative braking will allow the locomotives to pay for themselves through reduced operating costs.

Amtrak engineers and operators have been participating in a multi-day training on the new engines, which was capped today with the Vice President’s visit.

“We are delighted by today’s announcement by the Vice President,” said Rick Harnish of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. “If we’re going to have a truly modern rail system, and if that system is going to be the economic generator we know it can be, we need to build the locomotives right here. The Cities Sprinter is the first generation of locomotives leading the way to high-speed rail. This project will create excellent jobs, thousands of jobs, and a genuine investment in America’s future.”

“It is our hope that Congress will recognize the immediate and long-term benefits of this investment and will expand it so that we can have a truly nationwide rail system with all the economic and environmental benefits it can give us.”

For more information on the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, please visit or follow @hsrail. To request an interview with Richard Harnish, please call Joanna Klonsky at 312-307-0840.

(773) 334-6758