Illinois is leading the procurement of the Tier 4-compliant diesel-electric locomotives on behalf of California, Michigan, Washington, and Missouri.

The order will be the first for a new generation of diesel passenger locomotives being developed for the North American market by Siemens and engine manufacturer Cummins under a partnership announced earlier this month.

IDOT says the locomotives are likely to be assembled at Siemens' Sacramento plant in California and all components will be produced in the USA.

The US Federal Railroad Administration has allocated $US 808m to state governments to fund the acquisition of new inter-city passenger equipment, including 35 locomotives and 130 double-deck coaches, which were ordered from Sumitomo/Nippon Sharyo in September 2012.