Amtrak’s Acela Express, which replaced the iconic Metroliner service that helped define the Northeast Corridor for the better part of 30 years, is now approaching age 20 (kind of old for a train). The equipment, popular with customers but sort-of affectionately called “The Fast Pig” in railroading circles, will soon be replaced with new, lighter, sleeker and faster trainsets from Alstom.
RAILWAY AGE AT THE ALSTOM MANUFACTURING FACILITY, HORNELL, N.Y., JUNE 12, 2019: Alstom Transportation is building the next generation of high-speed trainsets for Amtrak‘s Northeast Corridor Acela Express service. The new equipment is scheduled to enter service sometime in 2021 between Washington, D.C. and Boston.
Amtrak recently announced that on May 4 it would be expanding its Acela Express service with an additional round trip on Saturdays.
The first replacement trainset for Amtrak’s high-speed service is just a shell of itself – and that’s good news.
Amtrak has unveiled artist’s impressions of interiors for its forthcoming Alstom-built Avelia Liberty high-speed trainsets, which will replace the current Acela Express fleet on the Boston-New York-Washington D.C. Northeast Corridor (NEC) from 2021 onwards.
The Federal Railroad Administration has issued preliminary findings on the Feb. 6 incident in which an Acela Express trainset experienced a separation between two cars at a speed of approximately 125 mph.
Amtrak’s Avelia Liberty, the Alstom-built integrated high-speed trainset that will replace the equipment currently used to provide Amtrak’s premium Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor, will be significantly different in design and livery that its predecessor. The trainset sports four exterior colors: white and blue, with red accents and gray power car noses.
I appreciate a good cup of coffee, especially a cappuccino or espresso (please don’t say expresso, especially in a good Italian restaurant). That’s why I have refused to drink Amtrak coffee, which is like ingesting lube oil—until now.
During late 2015, Amtrak conducted Vehicle Track Interaction (VTI) testing over a number of selected test sites in New England and New Jersey. This testing constituted a portion of the “safety case” required of Amtrak by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for certification to raise the maximum authorized speed for high-speed trainsets (on a limited number of segments) to 160 mph.
No surprise, thanks to Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) very public visit to Alstom’s Hornell, N.Y. manufacturing plant on Sept. 21, 2015: Amtrak, as expected, has contracted with Alstom to supply 28 “next-generation high-speed” trainsets that will replace popular yet aging and technically problematic Acela Express equipment.