A new Siemens Venture railcar manufactured for Amtrak California's San Joaquins train service,

outside of the manufacturing facility in Florin, California, February 28, 2020.

(California Department of Transportation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Siemens logo.


Siemens Venture is a type of locomotive-hauled passenger railroad car built by Siemens Mobility for the North American market. The cars are derived from the Siemens Viaggio Comfort cars used in Europe, with adaptations for North American operations. The cars entered service with Brightline in 2018 and with Amtrak Midwest (services funded by Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin) in 2022. They have also been ordered by Amtrak for national and other state-supported routes (including those in California, Washington, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia, North Carolina, and Vermont), Canada's Via Rail, and Ontario Northland. The Venture cars will also be used on Amtrak’s Airo trainsets.


A test train in California in July 2020.

(Pi.1415926535, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The Venture dates to 2014, when All Aboard Florida purchased five trainsets for its new Brightline service along with ten Siemens Charger SCB-40 diesel-electric locomotives. They were built at the Siemens factory in Florin, California starting in July 2015. The first trainset was completed in December 2016. Public operations began on January 13, 2018.
In November 2017, a coalition of states with state-supported Amtrak routes ordered 137 Venture railcars through its contractor Sumitomo Corporation. The order included seven trainsets for California and 88 cars for Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri (Amtrak Midwest) as married pairs and single coaches. The Ventures were the coalition's second passenger railcar order; the first order of Next Generation Bi-Level Passenger Rail Cars was cancelled after the prototype, built by Sumitomo's subcontractor, Nippon Sharyo, failed a buff strength test in August 2015. The first three Venture cars entered testing in February 2020. They were originally planned to enter revenue service in July 2020 but were delayed, not making their first run until February 1, 2022, on a Lincoln Service train.

On December 12, 2018, Canada's national passenger rail service operator, Via Rail, announced that it was purchasing 32 Venture trainsets to replace the entire fleet used on its Québec City–Windsor Corridor. The first trainset was delivered for testing in 2021. They are expected to enter service in 2022–2024.

In August 2019, the state of Wisconsin used a Federal Railroad Administration grant to purchase six Venture coaches and three cab cars. The six coaches will be added to the Amtrak Midwest pool while the three cab cars will be used exclusively for Hiawatha Service trains.

In April 2021, Amtrak announced that they will be ordering 83 trainsets to replace the aging Amfleet I fleet and Metroliner cab cars. The contract was signed in July 2021 and includes 20 years of after-delivery service and support.


Interior of a Siemens Venture car operated by Brightline.

(Phillip Pessar from Miami, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Most Siemens Venture cars (except those for Amtrak Midwest) are configured as semi-permanently coupled trainsets with open gangways between cars and standard couplers on the ends for connecting the trainset to locomotives or other railway equipment.

Owner Quantity Notes
Amtrak 156 26 six-car trainsets, will include a cab car and catenary power car.
Amtrak 256 32 eight-car trainsets, will include a cab car and catenary power car.
Amtrak 102 17 six-car trainsets, will include a cab car and battery car.
Amtrak Cascades 48 8 six-car trainsets, will include a cab car.
Amtrak Midwest 97 34 married pairs, 26 single cars, 3 single cab cars.
Amtrak San Joaquins 49 7 seven-car trainsets, will include a cab car.
Brightline 60 15 four-car trainsets.
Ontario Northland 9 3 three-car trainsets, will include a cab car.
Via Rail 160 32 five-car trainsets, will include a cab car.
Total 937

Amtrak Cascades

Amtrak has ordered eight six-car Venture trainsets for the Cascades service. They are replacing the Talgo Series VI trainsets, which the NTSB recommended be replaced "as soon as possible" after the 2017 Washington train derailment. Until the Venture trainsets arrive, Amtrak has been using its Horizon fleet on the route.

Each trainset will consist of five coaches and one cab car. Trains will also have a café for food service along with coach and business class seating. They will be paired with one of WSDOT's Siemens Charger locomotives. The first trainset is scheduled be delivered in 2025 and enter revenue service in 2026 after final commissioning.


A line of Amtrak Midwest Siemens Venture cars in Chicago's 14th Street Coach Yard.

(Sea Cow, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak Midwest

Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin have ordered 97 Venture cars for the Amtrak Midwest routes including Blue Water, Hiawatha Service, Illini/Saluki, Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg, Lincoln Service, Missouri River Runner, Pere Marquette, and Wolverine. Of the 97 cars, 68 are built as married pairs (two cars semi-permanently coupled with open gangways) while the remaining 29 are single (unmarried) cars with traditional gangways. Half of the married pairs (17) have a café car and an economy coach, while the remaining 17 have a combination business class/economy class coach and an economy-only coach. The business class and café cars have two vestibules each, while the economy coaches have one. This arrangement—unique among Venture operators—allows trains to be sized to meet the travel demands of individual routes and allows business class seating and café cars to be added or removed. Among the 29 single cars are three cab cars with economy seating for exclusive use on Hiawatha Service trains.


Amtrak Northeast Corridor

Amtrak has made a firm order for 75 trainsets, which it will brand as the Amtrak Airo, for intercity routes that operate over its Northeast Corridor.

The trainsets will be built in three configurations, tailored to the capacity and propulsion needs of the routes over which they will operate. All trainsets will include an ALC-42E Charger locomotive on one end of the consist and a cab control passenger car on the opposite end. Onboard, there will be a car with a food service area and a mix of Coach Class and Business Class seating. The initial order for 65 trainsets was later increased to 75 in August 2023, with an option to purchase additional trainsets in the future.

There will be 26 six-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets that will include an Auxiliary Power Vehicle (APV). The APV will be the trailer car closest to the locomotive and will include a pantograph, an underfloor transformer to handle the Northeast Corridor's 25 kV, 12.5 kV and 12 kV AC catenary power, a four quadrant chopper, and two powered trucks. In electrified territory, the APV will draw power from overhead lines, through the transformer and fed to the four traction motors in the car, and via a DC link cable, to the four traction motors in the locomotive. These trainsets will be used on the Carolinian, Downeaster, Keystone Service, Palmetto, Pennsylvanian and Vermonter.

There will also be 32 eight-car catenary-diesel dual-power trainsets, similarly configured, for use on Northeast Regional trains including through trains to Virginia and Springfield, Massachusetts.

Amtrak will also purchase 17 six-car battery-diesel hybrid trainsets, where the trailer car closest to the locomotive will have batteries to supply electricity to traction motors in the locomotive when operating around New York Penn Station, eliminating the need for third rail propulsion on the Adirondack, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, and Maple Leaf.


Low-platform boarding door on Siemens Venture coach built for state corridor service.

(California Department of Transportation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Amtrak San Joaquins

The California Department of Transportation has ordered seven Venture trainsets for the San Joaquins service with seven cars each: four coaches, two coaches with vending machines, and one cab control passenger car. Two cars per trainset will have built-in wheelchair lifts for compatibility with the low platforms used in California. The cab car and two other cars per trainset will have one vestibule per car, while the remaining cars will have two vestibules each. The San Joaquins service does not offer business class seating.


Siemens Venture trainset operated by Brightline at MiamiCentral station.

(Phillip Pessar from Miami, USA, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)



Brightline has received 10 Venture trainsets consisting of four cars: three with economy seating (branded "Smart Service") and one with business class seating (branded "Premium Service", formerly "Select"). Each trainset has two Siemens Charger SCB-40 diesel-electric locomotives, one on each end. Each trainset has a capacity of 248 passengers. Premium Service coaches have fifty 21-inch-wide (530 mm) seats in a 2×1 layout, while Smart Service coaches have sixty-six 19-inch-wide (480 mm) seats in a 2×2 layout.

Brightline purchased five trainsets for its initial service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Five more trainsets were purchased ahead of the lines extension to Orlando and additional stations opening in Aventura and Boca Raton. An additional five trainsets, this time without locomotives, were purchased for future use and will arrive as soon as 2024. Brightline has said that it plans to eventually expand the trainsets to seven cars.


Ontario Northland

In December 2022, the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Northland Railway announced a CA$139.5 million investment to reinstate the Northlander passenger service between Timmins and Toronto. The government announced that it had ordered three, three-car trainsets (two coaches and a cab car) with a food service area, which would be paired with a Charger locomotive.


A Venture cab car of Via Rail.

(tiernantrains, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Via Rail

Via Rail purchased 32 five-car trainsets for its Quebec City–Windsor Corridor. Each trainset will have two business class coaches, two economy class coaches, and one cab control car with economy seating. However, Via Rail says that the configuration is flexible and the railroad may operate shorter or longer trains depending on demand.

Each trainset will be paired with a Siemens Charger SCV-42 diesel-electric locomotive. All seats will be 19 inches wide, with a 2×1 layout in business class and 2×2 in economy class. All cars will be semi-permanently coupled with open gangways which compared to the current fleet are wider and isolated from weather.

Some cars have a galley area, allowing for at-seat food and beverage service across both classes.


Siemens Mobility GmbH

Type: Subsidiary
Industry: Transportation (Railways, Control systems, Digital Services)
Founded: 1989 (Siemens Traffic Technology division); 1 August 2018 (restructured)
Founder: Werner von Siemens
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
Area served: Global
Key personnel: Michael Peter (CEO)
Services include: Mobile Apps, Data analytics, Maintenance, MaaS
Revenue Increase: €9.69 billion (2022)
Number of employees: 34,200 (2017)
Parent: Siemens
Divisions: Mobility Management, Rail Electrification, Rolling Stock, Customer Services
Website: mobility.siemens.com

Note: financial figures are for fiscal year 2022.


See Also:

Passenger Cars