Amtrak is transporting its new Acela trains to the Transportation Technology Centre near Pueblo, Colorado, for dynamic testing prior to entering the trains into service in 2021.
The train is travelling from Buffalo, to La Junta, Colorado, via Chicago, between February 17 and February 19 – the public’s first opportunity to see the new equipment.
The first completed trainset assembled by Alstom in upstate New York will undergo testing on its brakes, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, and other safety and performance metrics. Testing will take about nine months, after which the interiors of the trains will be installed.
“Amtrak is proud to celebrate this major achievement for the new Acela fleet programme, as we are bringing customers one step closer to enjoying the benefits of these new trains,” said Amtrak 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 Acela trains are destined for service on Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor route between Boston and Washington DC. A second trainset has already been completed, and a third is due later this year. Amtrak has ordered 28 new Acela trainsets in total.
Acela ridership increased 4.3 per cent in 2019, to 3.5 million riders for the year. The new trains will accommodate about 25 per cent more customers and have improved wifi, outlets with USB ports, and adjustable reading lights, among other features.