Amtrak plan to replace dozens of aging trains: cost $7.3B

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An Amtrak train waits at a platform prior to its departure at Union Station November 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

DETROIT (AP) — Amtrak plans to spend $7.3 billion to replace 83 passenger trains, some of which are nearly a half-century old.

The U.S. national passenger railroad says it is contracting with a unit of Siemens AG of Germany to build the trains at a U.S. factory in California. Much of the funding for the contract hasn’t been approved by Congress, however. But Amtrak says it can finance the purchases if needed.

Amtrak says in a statement Wednesday that some of the trains will be hybrids, able to operate on diesel fuel and electricity where wires are available.

The new trains will start running in 2024. They’ll have more comfortable seating, better ventilation systems, individual power outlets and USB ports, and onboard WiFi.

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