Amtrak Announces Testing of New Acela Trainsets

New Acela on tracks at Hornell. Photo: courtesy of Amtrak.


Amtrak has announced that the first of its 28 new Acela trainsets will be leaving Alstom’s facility in Hornell, N.Y., and heading for the Transportation Technology Center near Pueblo, Colo., where they will undergo high-speed testing for nine months. Testing will include the trainset’s pantograph, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, slip/slide and wayside protection, brakes, and train control management systems.


“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 Richard Anderson, Amtrak president and CEO. “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.”


When testing is complete, the Acela trainsets will return to Alstom for installation of interiors.


The new trains will feature improved Wi-Fi access, personal outlets, USB ports and sustainable components. The trains will also accommodate nearly 25 percent more customers.


“Alstom is immensely pleased to partner with Amtrak to deliver Acela high-speed trainsets for service on the Northeast Corridor,” remarked Jérôme Wallut, senior vice president Alstom North America. “We would like to thank and congratulate all of our employees, suppliers and partners who helped make this important milestone a reality. This milestone is another step closer in the realization of high-speed train manufacturing here in America.”


The prototype set will travel from New York to Colorado beginning February 17. The second trainset is completed and will travel to Amtrak’s Penn Coach Yard in Philadelphia for testing next month. The third trainset is tentatively scheduled to travel to Philadelphia for testing in September 2020.


The new Acela is scheduled to enter service on the Northeast Corridor in 2021.