We’re Enhancing the Customer Experience One Seat at a Time
Photo: Rendering of Amtrak’s new Coach Class accommodations
Amtrak is investing in an extensive overhaul of its train interiors on more than a dozen popular services operating in the Northeast and Midwest aimed at introducing a more modern, more comfortable experience.
Beginning this month, Amtrak coach cars will begin to undergo a series of major improvements including:
- Brand-new seat cushions
- New carpeting
- New LED reading lights
- New bathroom flooring
- Upgraded wainscoting and bulkhead
- New curtains in Business Class cars
- Redesigned galleys in the café cars
The total investment is valued at more than $16 million.
The overhaul will take place on Amtrak’s Amfleet I equipment, which includes more than 450 Amtrak coach cars across the national network. Amtrak schedules will not change due to the refresh; in fact, Amtrak is strategically utilizing a phased approach during the refresh to ensure uninterrupted service for customers. Coach cars will be pulled offline on a rotating basis to upgrade or install new components as they become available. The refresh will take approximately nine months to complete.
- Fall 2017: Installation of Business Class carpets and cushions, Coach Class carpets and cushions, LED lighting, upgraded restrooms.
- Winter 2017: Continued installation of carpets, cushions, and LED lighting. First installations of Business Class curtains, refreshed wainscoting and bulkhead, and refreshed café cars.
- Summer 2018: Final installations of all items.
Expect to see the new interiors roll out on the following services: Northeast Regional (including trains to Springfield), Vermonter, Downeaster, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, Adirondack, Ethan Allen Express, Keystone, Springfield Shuttles, Pennsylvanian and Carolinian. In the Midwest, customers will see upgrades on the Illinois Service, Hiawatha, Missouri River Runner and Michigan Services.
America’s Railroad runs on American Products
The modernization efforts are a true “Made in America” story. So far, the materials included in the refresh are sourced from approximately a dozen U.S. suppliers in about 10 states. In addition, during the next several months, hundreds of Amtrak employees, alongside our industry partners, will perform the maintenance and overhaul work at facilities across the northeastern U.S. including Albany, New York; Sunnyside, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Washington D.C. Lynchburg, Virginia; Norfolk, Virginia; and Roanoke, Virginia.
Our Commitment to Sustainability
In addition to extending the life of the equipment, Amtrak remains focused on sustainability by continually working to reduce its environmental footprint. Amtrak has identified several ways to reduce waste and recycle as many of the retired Amfleet I materials as possible. For this project alone, refresh teams will recycle, re-use and divert from landfills approximately 133 tons of seat cushions, carpets and curtains.
The use of passenger rail service continues to grow—in 2016, Amtrak welcomed aboard approximately 31.3 million customers—nearly 400,000 more than the previous year. The overhaul of our Northeast and Midwest fleet ensures Amtrak is prepared to meet the growing demand now and in the future.