New Acela cars will look a bit different
By adamg on Wed, 01/22/2020 - 3:12pm
Amtrak has released some video of one of its next-generation Acela trains outside the Alstom factory in Hornell, NY. It's scheduled for a trip out to a federal train-testing facility in Colorado next month.
The 28 new trains, which will be able to carry about 30% more passengers at slightly faster speeds on the curvy Northeast Corridor, are scheduled to roll into service in 2021, part of a $2.8-billion replacement of the original Acela Express trains, which went into service in 2000 after the corridor was electrified between Boston and New Haven.
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I predict delays
But I could be wrong
Not to sound too optimistic
But these are the closest to "off the shelf" trains we can get for Amtrak, with the only issue being the pesky weight requirement.
All the Acela is good at is
All the Acela is good at is being expensive.
It hardly saves any time over regular Amtrak. I don't find it comfortable. And it has far fewer seats -- only 4 usable cars, ignoring First Class since it's even more expensive, and the cafe has no seating unlike regular Amtrak which is full of 4-person tables.
Amtrak needs to figure out how to offer cheaper tickets, which would increase ridershipand allow them to expand service. It's insane that 2 people would have to pay almost $1000 round-trip to take the train to New York and back. These tiny trains run at most once per hour, while the highways are jammed. What exactly is the goal of our transportation policy in this country and region?
Acela > Regional
I ride Acela probably 8-10 times a year r/t to NYC for work (and occasionally to Philly, but I usually fly to PHL) and the Acela is way nicer than the Regional. Better tables, better food, better booze, nicer bathrooms, mostly quiet business travelers working or watching movies. Fewer stops, hour faster home, delayed less often.
Amtrak has something like 70% of the travel market between Boston and NYC, and similarly market share between NYC and DC.
Should it be faster & cheaper? Sure. But that’s unlikely to happen unless the feds kick in more money and all the states along the NE Corridor kick in some serious coin for upgrades to the track, signals and crossings.
Especially when work is paying, I’ll take the Acela over the Regional every time.
Exactly. Acela only makes
Exactly. Acela only makes sense if you're not the one paying.
Amtrak has 63 percent of the Northeast Corridor market...if all you count is rail and air. They exclude cars and buses from that figure.
With trains only once an hour, I would never wait for an Acela if there was a Regional at the time I wanted to leave. And it's not an hour faster -- usually 3:40 vs 4:15 or so.
I'd like to see Amtrak do more with what they have. For example, high-speed trains in Japan can be cleaned during a 7-minute layover. So there's no reason why Amtrak has to waste hours of crew and equipment time turning a train at the end of the trip.
More trips with the same equipment and crews means more revenue without raising prices, and more importantly, more people in trains instead of cars.
Value isn’t there
About Amtrak, they used to say, “Russian service with Swiss pricing,” until people started pointing out that Amtrak’s price per distance traveled was often higher than on the Swiss railways.
Being produced in N Korea?
Soviet style train cars
Agree that they look N. Korean or Soviet style, just in case Bernie or Warren win. Was Amtrak Board Member Hunter Biden involved in the design process?
Maybe from Trump’s bosses in
Maybe from Trump’s bosses in Russia.
They're a replica of the Italo Ferrari trains in Europe
And we all know how Ferrari is synonymous with Communism. Right? Don't let the incomplete paint job and slow construction speed fool you
$2.8 billion to throw away
$2.8 billion to throw away trains that are only 20 years old...
Meanwhile the 1970s Regional cars keep chugging along. At 125 mph.
The new Acela cars are being built in upstate New York.
They are awaiting permissions from the Federal Railroad Administration to be coupled to a standard locomotive and other "tow trains" to bring it to a multi-mile test track in Colorado where it can be brought up to speed and tested under conditions that will mimic daily usage.
The weight issue is due to USA "crash standards" that seek to assure reduced casualty of operator and passengers. The USA standards are different here. The mindset is different. In Europe and they give trains a right-of-way before the auto in most areas. Here it is the other way around and we still have a lot of grade crossings.
The other speed restriction is the infrastructure. The trains themselves are capable to 150 mph easily and the new ones faster. The problem is the tracks they run on and the wire that provides the electricity are very old in parts of CT and NY. because of that, a high speed train can snap the wires and bring the entire system down, so they have to run slower because of that. upgrades are in process in those states but it is a slow and cumbersome, and expensive process. So before we blame the trains, we have to also look at the other and actual causes.
In parts of RI, the Acela does get to the 150 mph speed. In parts of MA the trains can and do travel at 100 mph. In fact a stretch of track in Roslindale is rated at a speed limit of 110 mph. in fact that rating is for all trains but the MBTA rarely goes over 59--79 mph depending on what local stations they are stopping at, and traffic ahead of them.
The trains do in fact get up to the top speed limit of 155 for a good distance in SE MA in the vicinity of Mansfield. The truly slow stretches are thru coastal CT.