Germany-based Siemens said Thursday it will build luxury passenger trains entirely in the U.S. for Florida's private high-speed railway expected to begin operation by the end of 2016.
All Aboard Florida plans to connect West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami with hourly service on 195 miles of existing tracks. Phase two will add 40 miles of new track to extend service to Orlando International Airport.
"We see a strong resurgence of rail service in the United States," said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens' rail systems division in the U.S.
The trains will be made in Siemens' solar-powered rail manufacturing hub in Sacramento, California, with traction motors and gearboxes coming from Norwood, Ohio; propulsion containers from Alpharetta, Georgia; and diesel engines manufactured by Cummins in Seymour, Indiana. The locomotives will also be built to meet the new tougher emissions standards set by the federal government.
"They will be cleaner, greener and faster," Cahill said.
The trains will operate at speeds up to 125 mph, which he said is the practical upper limit for diesel trains. Cahill said that can be considered high speed since the typical U.S. passenger rail operates at 79 mph. The goal for service between Orlando and Miami is three hours.