Siemens Mobility’s Locomotive Success is Good News for Cummins’ QSK95 Engine System and the Environment

Columbus, Indiana
The Charger locomotives purchased by Amtrak are powered by Cummins' QSK95 diesel engines (Rendering courtesy of Siemens Mobility).
The Charger locomotives purchased by Amtrak are powered by Cummins' QSK95 diesel engines (Rendering courtesy of Siemens Mobility).

2018 was a great year for Siemens Mobility’s popular Charger locomotives, which means Cummins (NYSE: CMI) employees will be keeping busy over the next few years. 

That’s because the locomotives will continue to use Cummins’ QSK95 Tier 4 engine systems to help deliver clean, efficient power for passenger trains.

As a fitting end to an already strong year of wins for the Charger in 2018, Amtrak announced Dec. 21 that it would be purchasing 75 Charger locomotives for delivery starting in 2021.  All in all, the value of Siemens Mobility contracts for the year involving the Charger, including the Amtrak purchase, exceeded $1.5 billion.

The contracts will more than double the number of Charger locomotives in revenue service, and include multi-year parts, service and support agreements in addition to buy options for future purchases. The most recent contract will result in the single largest North American rail engine system purchase with aftermarket agreements in Cummins’ history. 

“Cummins is so proud to be a part of this tremendous locomotive, which is not just demonstrating every day it can move people dependably and efficiently, but also deliver significant reductions in particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2),” said Regina Barringer, General Manager – Global Rail and Defense at Cummins.

 “Siemens Mobility has built a tremendous product that is making a positive impact through all of North America and we’re glad to be part of that,” she added.


The QSK95 is the largest diesel engine Cummins manufactures, built at the company’s engine plant in Seymour, Indiana (U.S.A.). In addition to the rail market, the 16-cylinder engine, rated at between 4,000 and 4,400-horsepower, is operating in the marine and power generation markets and is available for other industrial applications.

The engine system has played a key role in the Charger’s success from the beginning, when Siemens first received a round of orders in 2014 for 81 locomotives by passenger rail systems in Washington, California, Oregon, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Maryland. Currently, there are 70 of the locomotives in revenue operation. As of Jan. 8, they had traveled more than 5 million service miles. 

The QSK95 engine system is a high-speed diesel engine using the latest in clean diesel technology. The engine will provide a huge environmental improvement over the medium-speed diesel engines it will be replacing – some dating back to the 1990s.

The Charger was the first high-speed passenger locomotive to enter service meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards in North America. It is expected to achieve an approximate 10 percent improvement in CO2, a nearly 90 percent improvement in NOx and a more than 95 percent improvement in PM compared to the locomotives it is replacing. Carbon dioxide is a key contributor to greenhouse gases (GHGs) while NOx and PM contribute to smog.

Advocates hope expanding train travel in North America will convince people to leave their cars at home more frequently, further reducing the GHGs that contribute to climate change while improving the environment.


“These new locomotives will offer increased reliability, more hauling power, improved safety features and lower emissions,” said Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson in a joint news release with Siemens announcing the Amtrak purchase.

“Siemens Mobility is honored and grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity to assist Amtrak in their mission to provide safe, world-class, environmentally conscious technology for their long-distance services,” added Michael Cahill, President of Siemens Mobility’s North America rolling stock business, in the joint release.

For Amtrak’s most recent order, the Charger will be powering trains crisscrossing the United States on some of Amtrak’s most iconic routes including the Auto Train, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. The locomotive is expected to begin passenger service in the fall of 2021.

About Cummins Inc.

Cummins Inc., a global power technology leader, is a corporation of complementary business segments that design, manufacture, distribute and service a broad portfolio of power solutions. The company’s products range from internal combustion, electric and hybrid integrated power solutions to components including filtration, aftertreatment, turbochargers, fuel systems, controls systems, air handling systems, automated transmissions, electric power generation systems, microgrid controls, batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cell products. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), since its founding in 1919, Cummins employs approximately 73,600 people committed to powering a more prosperous world through three global corporate responsibility priorities critical to healthy communities: education, environment and equality of opportunity. Cummins serves its customers online, through a network of company-owned and independent distributor locations, and through thousands of dealer locations worldwide and earned about $2.2 billion on sales of $28.1 billion in 2022. 

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