I've ridden behind the AEM-7s several times over the past few years on the Northeast Corridor. The best memory was riding behind one on the full length of the corridor between Washington and Boston in 2012, on the noon departure from Washington Union Station, train 176. I certainly hope that one of these locomotives will be preserved, as the GG1 and E60MA locomotives that preceded it have been at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg.
Check Out Vintage Amtrak Locomotives
Today the old is meeting the new on our Northeast Corridor. We've got a big announcement, but before we say anything more, we're taking a minute to look back at the durable equipment that got us here today.
Between 1978 and 1988, Amtrak purchased more than 50 AEM-7 locomotives, which would become the workhorses of our busiest corridor in the country stretching between Boston and Washington, D.C. At the time, they were considered lightweight at 101 tons (!!) and built to achieve top speeds of 125 mph.
If you've traveled with us since that initial purchase back in the day, chances are you've experienced one of these huge machines, which measure in at 51.5 feet long, 12.5 feet high and 7,000 horsepower!
AEM-7s are serviced inside what's called an Engine House at our maintenance facilities along the Northeast Corridor. This is where “road battle” repairs have been carried out since they went into service. Those include damages from tree branches along the railways or dings from debris.
Our new equipment will also be serviced at these same 24-hour Engine Houses. They'll replace our entire electric fleet in the Northeast Corridor by 2016. That's 70 locomotives, a $466 million investment and the creation and preservation of jobs in 60 cities across the country. Pretty cool evolution, huh?
Check out photos of the new Amtrak locomotives!
To read more about the equipment that the locomotives will be replacing, visit history.amtrak.com.
Are you excited for the new, more reliable equipment we're debuting? Let us know in the comments below!
I recall their nickname from both 'fans and crews - "Toasters" ;)
Living in the Midwest I saw a lot more F40's than AEM-7's I'm afraid.
Thanks for catching that for us. With all the excitement about the new locomotives, we made a mistake. We've updated the photo and done some additional digging to tell you more about the equipment featured in it. You'll notice that there's only one coach and several baggage cars. That indicates that the train was likely the Mail Express that Amtrak operated from Springfield, Conn., to Washington, D.C., from 1984 until the 2000s.
What memories do you have of the AEM-7? We'd love to hear them!
That picture is not a AEM-7 they were electric on the northeast corridor. ...please fix picture cause I feel insulted. Coming from a Amtrak family.
Ah, that's no AEM-7 in the historical photo - while still an EMD product, that is an F40PH passenger diesel - the people-hauling version of EMD's venerable GP40-2 series.