U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and Representative John Carney today congratulated five unions working out of Amtrak's Wilmington and Bear shops on securing the work of overhauling all 20 Acela train sets for Amtrak. The estimated $125 million project is expected to take 3.5 years.
Securing this project means around 30 local union employees will have steady work for the next several years. The engine work will be done in Wilmington and the passenger cars will be overhauled in Bear. Work is expected to begin in October.
"I welcome Amtrak's decision to give local unions the heavy overhaul work on Acela trains, which will keep Delawareans working," Senator Carper said. "Delaware has a talented and highly skilled union workforce and these workers will be supplied with good jobs for years to come."
"The awarding of this job by Amtrak to the Wilmington and Bear shops reinforces what we in the First State already know -- that we have one of the most competitive and skilled union workforces in the country," Senator Coons said. "This is a strong shot in the arm for Delaware. This project is proof that Amtrak has established a pattern of investment here and that our partners in organized labor are eager to step up and work together for our shared goals."
"It's important that we continue making the investments that strengthen and enhance Amtrak's infrastructure," Congressman Carney said. "No one is more qualified to do this work than Delaware's well-trained, knowledgeable workforce. I'm confident this will be a valuable partnership for both Amtrak and Delaware workers, and that they will continue working together to improve high-speed rail options in the region."
"The major overhaul work to be performed by our skilled workforce in Delaware will benefit Acela passengers and demonstrates the deep knowledge and experience of Amtrak in operating and maintaining high-speed rail service," said Amtrak Chief Mechanical Officer Mario Bergeron.
The unions tapped to work on overhaul include: American Railway and Airway Supervisors Association (ARASA), Transportation Workers of America (TWU), Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the International Association of Machinists (IAM).