The locomotives have a 6 MJ crash energy absorbance structure; the carbody is stainless steel.  The electrical traction system is directly derived from the system used on Alstom 's BB 36000 Astride locomotives;  this includes four three phase asynchronous traction motors powered by GTO based inverters, with one inverter per motor; the electric system also allows regenerative and rheostatic braking.  The locomotives were designed for up to 217 km/h (135 mph) operation but are actually limited in service to FRA Tier 1 standards, operating up to 201 km/h (125 mph).  
The first signs of relief came in 1958 when Congress eased the process of discontinuing unprofitable intercity trains and Philadelphia offered financial assistance for commuter service by forming the Passenger Service Improvement Corporation. In spite of this help the heavy losses persisted and only the strongest, like the Santa Fe, Great Northern, Union Pacific, and Southern Railway, could continue maintaining highly quality service throughout the 1960's. After the Department of Transportation was established on October 15, 1966 the new agency began a serious study of the industry's "passenger problem." Brian Solomon notes his book, " Amtrak ," they concentrated on eliminating this issue while simultaneously sustaining an intercity network. As with everything in Washington true progress was slow which led to further service declines. To illustrate just how the situation had become, just prior to the Great Depression there had been roughly 20,000 passenger trains in operation but by 1970 this number had alarmingly declined to just 420.