Amtrak’s new Acela trains clear key hurdle

Amtrak has reached a milestone within the lengthy path to get its new Acela trains onto the tracks of the Northeast Hall.

The rail firm and producer Alstom not too long ago acquired Federal Railroad Administration approval to start high-speed testing of the brand new trainsets, an Amtrak spokesperson instructed TPG on Friday.

That testing is already underway alongside the Northeast Hall.

It is a key step for the brand new Acela mission, which has encountered years of delays.

Acela delays

The brand new Acela trains have been initially slated to be on the tracks by 2021.

Amongst different hurdles, together with the pandemic, a fall 2023 authorities watchdog’s report detailed particular challenges confronted by Alstom in getting approval for laptop fashions that may enable the corporate and Amtrak to proceed with dwell testing of the brand new trains.

Simply earlier than the vacations, although, a prime Amtrak official was optimistic the issue would quickly be rectified.

“We’re closing in on ending the modeling effort — the pc modeling as a part of the security regulation for that new trainset,” Laura Mason, Amtrak’s government vp for capital supply, mentioned in a late-November interview with TPG.

“I hope we’ll get into dynamic testing [in early 2024], and that can set us on the trail to with the ability to put these trains into income service,” she mentioned.

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On the time, Mason predicted the primary of the brand new Acela trains can be on the tracks by late 2024. Amtrak officers proceed to foretell clients will have the ability to experience the brand new Acela someday this yr.


Main enchancment across the nook

As soon as totally operational, the brand new Acela will have the ability to carry extra passengers in sleeker, nicer vehicles — changing the ageing, legacy Acela units and offering a considerably upgraded passenger expertise.

And the 28 new trainsets can be sooner — as much as 160 miles per hour, pending infrastructure upgrades alongside elements of the Northeast Hall.

Mixed with a number of different important enhancements deliberate for the hall and permitted for funding in latest months, it is definitely a time of main change for rail journey alongside the East Coast.

Now, with a key hurdle behind Amtrak, there seems to be extra hope on the horizon for getting these long-anticipated trains on the tracks.

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