Future of Delaware shops unclear as Amtrak moves forward on new maintenance sites


Amtrak is moving forward with plans for new maintenance facilities thanks to an infusion of federal funds.

Where that leaves the government-owned railroad’s northern Delaware maintenance sites has not been determined.

Last week, Amtrak announced upcoming procurement packages for new support facilities in Seattle, Boston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. for its current and its future fleet of locomotives and cars. Amtrak is rolling out new high-speed Acela trains and a new diesel locomotive and passenger car fleet.

Amtrak has already issued a request for proposals for a site in Philadelphia.

“The maintenance facilities mentioned in Tuesday’s news release are still in the planning process. As we evaluate future requirements, we will provide additional information,” Amtrak spokesman W. Kyle Anderson said in response to a question on the Delaware shops.


Amtrak has multiple operations in Delaware that include administrative, dispatching, and training, with a pre-pandemic headcount of about 1,000.

Amtrak has a century-old locomotive service center in Wilmington, which was once used to service steam locomotives. The Bear site refurbishes its aging fleet of passenger cars. Click here for further information.

“These modern maintenance facilities are an essential part of Amtrak’s plans to introduce new state-of-the-art passenger trainsets around the country,” said Amtrak Vice President, Project Delivery Fleet and Facilities, Norman Forde. “Thanks to funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), Amtrak can upgrade our existing rail yards with modern facilities that feature additional working space and enable more efficient maintenance practices.”

Each maintenance site will house various facilities, such as:

  • – Heavy maintenance: Major extended repairs and overhauls
  • – Maintenance & inspections: routine maintenance, inspections and refueling
  • – Service & cleaning: Routine maintenance and inspections, cleaning, and utility access

For businesses interested in Amtrak’s plans, information is available in the “Advance Notice to the Construction Industry” published on Amtrak’s Procurement Portal.

The publication of Advance Notices helps alert potential proposers to upcoming procurement opportunities, providing companies with lead time to prepare their bids and establish relationships, including participation from Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms, a release stated.