In the RFI posted on June 27, Amtrak says it is seeking information on all types of rail vehicles including coaches, trains and self-propelled units. Following a review of what manufacturers have to offer, the operator plans to develop and release a Request for Proposal (RFP) for specific replacement vehicles in 2019.

Amtrak says although the fleet has recently undergone a refurbishment programme that has replaced many interior elements including seats, carpets and lighting features, the coaches are about 40-years-old and are at the point where replacement is more cost-effective than maintenance.

Earlier in June, Amtrak issued an RFP for new or rebuilt locomotives to supplement and replace its ageing national diesel locomotive fleet. In 2021, the first of 28 new Acela Express trains supplied by Alstom will start serving customers on the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak says it is working to make immediate changes to the customer experience with improvements including refreshed trains, new fare structures, improved on-time performance, enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity, upgraded facilities and expanded onboard experience options.

It says improvements at New York Penn Station and the new Moynihan Train Hall, as well as further development of stations in Chicago, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia will further enhance the customer experience.