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Amtrak to launch first of new locomotives from South Station

Amtrak will launch the first of a fleet of new locomotives out of Boston’s South Station on Friday, officials said.

The 70 new locomotives have advanced technology and modern equipment that company officials hope will provide more reliable service.

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“Amtrak is integral to the daily life of the Northeast and the new locomotives will keep the people and businesses of the region connected and on the move,” said Amtrak chief executive Joe Boardman in a statement released today. “New equipment ensures Amtrak can deliver the reliable service the region depends on and supports the growth of the region as America’s economic powerhouse.”

Siemens, a global technology company, built the new electric-powered “Amtrak Cities Sprinters” in a solar-powered manufacturing plant in Sacramento, Calif. The project began as a way to replace old equipment that has been operating for 25 to 35 years with sleeker, more environmentally friendly models.

The Sprinters will save an approximated 3 billion kilowatt-hours of energy over the next 20 years, officials said.

The new machines are designed to self-diagnose and solve technical problems. Heating and cooling within the cabs have been improved, and so have crash management mechanisms, officials said.

The trains will take over Amtrak Northeast Corridor operations, powering all long-distance trains between Washington, New York, and Boston. Eventually, they will replace Keystone Service between New York, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg, Pa., officials said.

“Beyond improved reliability of service, the new locomotives represent a prudent business decision to invest in the future of the Northeast region and better position Amtrak to support ridership growth in the coming years,” said Amtrak chairman Tony Coscia.

The new locomotive will leave at 8:15 a.m. Friday.

Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at jacqueline.tempera@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp

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