CHICAGO — Siemens is now testing its new SC-44 Charger locomotive in the Chicago area today. Illinois Department of Transportation SC-44 No. 4611 led Amtrak test train 941 from Chicago to Milwaukee ahead of the regularly scheduled Amtrak Hiawatha train 329. The test train is expected to return from Milwaukee to Chicago. This marks the first test of the department’s new locomotives from the city where they will be based in. Previous testing of Illinois’ new locomotives have been on the East and West coasts.
Both the No. 4611 and No. 4604 are in Chicago, having arrived from Seattle in late March following several months of testing in the Pacific Northwest. Additional testing of the two SC-44s on other routes out of Chicago is planned.
The order for Siemens SC-44s encompasses 69 locomotives built for the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and Maryland. The 33 SC-44s ordered by Illinois will eventually be used on the state-sponsored trains into and out of Amtrak’s Chicago hub.