Amtrak has begun high-speed testing for the first of its new Acela trainsets this week, in preparation for the introduction of 28 new trainsets to the company’s fleet. The test had the train traveling from Alstom’s facility in Hornell, New York, to the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colorado.
“Amtrak is proud to celebrate this major achievement for the new Acela fleet program, as we are bringing customers one step closer to enjoying the benefits of these new trains,” said Amtrak’s President and CEO Richard Anderson.
“With strong demand for Acela travel continuing to grow, we will test the trains to ensure customers will have safe and reliable service with modern amenities when these trains go into service next year.”
The new trains will be able to accommodate nearly 25% more customers while providing spacious, high-end comfort for passengers. Each train will feature improved WiFi access, personal outlets, USB ports and adjustable reading lights; and will have sustainable components.
In preparation for the new fleet, Amtrak is undertaking a record amount of track and infrastructure work along the NEC aimed at improving ride quality, increasing reliability, and increasing overall on-time performance.
“Alstom is immensely pleased to partner with Amtrak to deliver Acela high-speed trainsets for service on the Northeast Corridor,” said Jérôme Wallut, senior vice president for Alstom in North America. “This milestone is another step closer in the realization of high-speed train manufacturing here in America.”
Once testing is complete, the trainset will return to Alstom for installation of its interiors. The first of Amtrak’s 28 new Acela trainsets are scheduled to enter service throughout the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021.