By Rick Harnish

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Amtrak did a soft launch of the new Siemens Venture coaches on Tuesday, February 1.  The official launch will be in mid-February.

The cars are being introduced at a rate of 8 cars per month starting with the Chicago – St. Louis Lincoln service then expaned to other routes as more cars become available.

These are the first new coaches to come to the Midwest in about 30 years and offer many new features that have been standard overseas for decades.

I rode on that first revenue run to Joliet.  Here’s a quick overview of what makes these cars a big step up from the Amfleet and Horizon cars they are replacing.

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