Amtrak Continues Testing on New Acela Fleet

Written by Andrew Corselli

Amtrak’s new Acela fleet, scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021, continues to progress with its high-speed testing at Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., as the first Acela prototype completed another milestone by traveling at speeds up to 165 mph, although the train’s initial top operating speed will be 160 mph.

The first Acela prototype traveled from Alstom’s facility in Hornell, N.Y., on Feb., 17 and is expected to undergo six more months of dynamic testing, which will include the trainset’s pantograph, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, slip/slide and wayside protection, brakes, and train control management systems. Once complete, the trainset will return to Alstom for installation of its interiors.

These Acela trains will include new touchless features and “utilize state-of-the-art technology to provide contactless amenities, including spacious restrooms with contactless features and automatic door access, a contactless storage option for luggage and comfortable seating with personal outlets and USB ports for individual access and winged headrests to serve as a barrier between you and your neighbor. Additionally, the Café Car will offer convenient self-service options and an advanced seat reservation system will allow customers the ability to reserve seats prior to departure.”

Alstom is building the next-generation high-speed Acela trainsets using parts manufactured by nearly 250 suppliers in 27 states, with 95% of the components produced domestically. More than 1,300 new jobs are being generated in nearly 90 communities across the United States to support production, including the creation of new, sustainable, high-tech, engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Video—courtesy of TTCI—of the new Acela fleet can be seen here:

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