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Siemens lands major contract to build trains for Amtrak in US

German engineering group Siemens said Thursday it has been awarded a $466-million contract to build 70 electric locomotives for US rail company Amtrak's busy northeastern routes.

Siemens lands major contract to build trains for Amtrak in US
Photo: DPA

Under the terms of the contract, 250 new jobs will be created to build the locomotives, including 200 at Siemens’s existing light manufacturing facility in Sacramento, California, the firm said in a statement.

The first locomotives, destined for the busiest rail route in the country, are due to be delivered in 2013, and all of their main components will be produced at Siemens plants in the United States.

Siemens said it would use renewable energy to build them and that they will include energy efficient features, including regenerative braking.

“As the global leader in rail innovation, we are thrilled that Amtrak has selected our proven locomotive technology,” said Siemens president and CEO Daryl Dulaney.

“These locomotives will be built in America using renewable energy and provide cleaner, more efficient movement of people on the most heavily traveled rail route in the country.

AFP/ka

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US

Germany welcomes US troop withdrawal freeze under Biden

The German government on Friday welcomed a decision by President Joe Biden to put on hold plans to reduce US troops in Germany, saying their presence was in the countries' mutual interest.

Germany welcomes US troop withdrawal freeze under Biden
An American soldier stationed in Germany, in front of Dresden's Military History Museum in 2016. Photo: DPA

“We have always been convinced that American troops being stationed here in Germany serves European and transatlantic security and hence is in our mutual interest,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

As part of a major foreign and security policy overhaul presented Thursday, Biden announced a freeze on plans set in motion by his predecessor Donald Trump to reduce the US troop presence in Germany, a cornerstone of NATO security since the start of the Cold War.

READ ALSO: What could Joe Biden as US president mean for Germany?

Trump's decision was seen as linked to his tense relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his frequent complaints that Europe's top economy spent too little on defence.

The United States has had US troops stationed in Germany since World War II but their numbers have declined since the fall of the Berlin Wall from some 200,000 soldiers in 1990 to 34,500 today.

Although the prospect had been looming for years, Trump's decision in July to redeploy 12,000 soldiers from Germany still came as a shock, particularly to towns that have built strong economic and cultural ties to the US military.

READ ALSO: Trump to withdraw 'thousands of US soldiers from Germany' under Biden

“We strongly value the close, decades-long cooperation with the American troops stationed in Germany,” Seibert said.

He said the communities hosting GIs appreciated their presence, calling the bases “part of the lived transatlantic friendship”.  

Seibert said German officials were in “consultations” with the US administration about “further planning” but that the decision how to shape the future American military footprint in Europe was a “US domestic issue”.

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