Monday, September 13, 2010

Siemens Velaro mockup heads for Florida

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Siemens announced Monday that it is bringing a full-sized mockup of the Siemens Velaro high speed trainet to Florida to show Americans what the future may hold for them. After its Oct. 8 debut in Tampa, th eSiemens "Future of Florida High-Speed Rail Tour" will continue to Orlando, Miami, Tallahassee, and other cities.

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“Visitors to the exhibit in each city will not only hav ethe chance to see the Velaro, the fastest passenger train in the world, but also the opportunity to have their questions answered by high-speed rail experts,” Siemens claimed.

“We'd like to congratulate Florida on leading the charge for high speed rail in America,” said Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens Corp. “Not since the early days of the space program has there been such potential for growth as there is in Florida right now.”

“We want to give Floridians a taste of what a true high speed rail trainset looks and feels like,” added Oliver Hauck, president o fSiemens Mobility in the U.S. “Siemens Velaro trainsets are successfully running on some of the fastest and most important routes in the world today.”

The Velaro tour recalls an earlier, more-ambitious HSR demonstration program: Seventeen years ago, when Amtrak was evaluating high speed trainset technology for the Northeast Corridor, Siemens and Deutsche Bahn (German Rail), in cooperation with Amtrak, brought a specially modified, fully operational ICE (Intercity Express) trainset to the U.S. It operated on the NEC in revenue service for several months and also toured the country. The ICE demonstration followed a similar program with an X2000 trainset involving Amtrak, ABB Traction, and Swedish State Railways. Amtrak eventually awarded the NEC high speed trainset contract to a Bombardier/Alstom consortium; the Acela Express equipment entered revenue service on the NEC in 2000.