Posts Tagged ‘Acela’

Amtrak Releases Sustainability Report

August 22, 2022

Amtrak emphasized achievements in becoming more environmentally friendly in its 2021 sustainability report that it released last week.

The report noted that much of the new equipment it plans to purchase with funding made available by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be more “climate friendly.”

This will include dual-power equipment that can operate on electricity or diesel power.

The dual-power equipment is slated to be assigned to the Northeast Corridor and select state-funded corridor routes.

New Siemens-built ACL-42 Charger locomotives being phased into revenue service on long-distance routes meet the fuel efficiency standards of EPA Tier 4 standards, Amtrak said.

This includes emitting 89 percent less nitrogen oxide and 95 percent less particulate matter than the P42DC locomotives being replaced.

Other highlights of the report included the Amtrak Connects US plan that was released during federal fiscal year 2021 that calls for development of 39 new routes and enhancement of 25 existing routes.

The passenger carrier said it has designed and deployed solar-powered technology to improve security on the Northeast Corridor in preparation for the launch of new Acela service.

Amtrak’s sustainability report said train travel is on average 46 percent more energy efficient than travel by car and 34 percent more efficient than domestic air travel.

Track Work to Affect NEC Schedules

August 12, 2022

Track work on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor will result in schedule changes effective Aug. 22.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said scheduled departure and arrival times of Acela and Northeast Regional trains may change by three to 10 minutes for northbound trains from Washington to New York. All Acela trains will depart Washington five or 10 minutes before the hour.

Acela Speeds Boosted in New Jersey

June 16, 2022

Amtrak said this week it will boost speeds of Acela trains in a 16-mile segment of the Northeast Corridor in New Jersey following completion of infrastructure work there.

The $450 project was undertaken between South Brunswick (Monmouth Junction) and Trenton.

Acela trains will be able to travel at a top speed of 150 miles per hour there.

Amtrak said in a news release that the work was part of the New Jersey High-Speed Rail Improvement program.

Workers installed new signal power cables, new catenary supports, renewed some wiring, installed high-speed turnouts, and renewed power substations.

The news release said the 150-mph speed match the top speeds achieved by Acela trains in parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

A recent schedule change now has 10 daily Acela round-trip trains between New York and Washington, and nine round-trip trains between Boston and New York.

New Acela Trainset Inaugural Delayed to 2023

April 8, 2022

There will be further delays in placing new Acela trainsets into revenue service on the Northeast Corridor Trains magazine reported on Friday.

The report on the magazine’s website said recent testing of the equipment on the corridor found further modifications are needed as well as further testing.

The equipment, which was built by Alstom, was expected to go into revenue service late this year.

Just last week Amtrak held a media event in Philadelphia to showcase the first of the 28 trainsets built by Alstom. Each set has nine cars, including power cars at each end.

The Trains report said the Acela equipment is expected to begin revenue service sometime in 2023.

The report can be read at

New Acela Trainsets to Launch This Fall

April 2, 2022

The interior of a first class Acela coach (Amtrak photo)

Amtrak said this week it plans to place Alstom-built Acela trainsets into revenue service this fall.

Amtrak held a media event in Philadelphia on Thursday to show the interiors of the Acela equipment, which had originally been set to begin service in fall 2021.

That date was later pushed back to spring 2022 due to supply chain problems and technical issues.

Railway Age reported that Amtrak said the latest delay in placing the equipment into service is due to the builder needing “to complete extensive computer modeling and simulation tests and ensure they meet FRA’s safety requirements with this latest generation of high speed technology.”

Amtrak ordered 28 trainsets from Alstom in 2016. Each set will have a power car at each end, seven business class coaches, one first class coach and a café car.

Each class is designated by color with blue for business class and red for first class.

Business class features 378 seats per trainset with every seat having power outlets, USB ports, and adjustable reading lights.

The business class cars also feature streamlined overhead luggage compartments, tray tables, complimentary Wi-Fi, an advanced seat reservation system, and head rests with wings.

An information system provides train location, train speed and conductor announcements.

First class seating provides more space and leg room as well as personal tray tables.

The café car will feature a self-select and check-out option, standing-room area with hip rests, electrical outlets for charging, digital screens for sharing information, and trash receptacles.

NEC Schedules Change Today

March 28, 2022

Amtrak on Monday (March 28) changed several schedules of trains serving the Northeast Corridor.

In a service advisory the passenger carrier said the changes were due to track and infrastructure work being made along the corridor.

Scheduled departure and arrival times of Acela and Northeast Regional trains may change by three to 10 minutes in both directions between Boston and Washington.

Acela 2152 will replace the 2150, operating approximately one hour later. All Acela trains will depart Washington 10 minutes before the hour.

Acela Stuck for Hours After Losing Power

February 16, 2022

An Amtrak Acela train was stalled for more than seven hours Monday after it lost power.

News reports said the train, which was traveling to New York from Boston lost power in the Hunter’s Point neighborhood of Queens at 8:37 a.m., 10 minutes before its scheduled arrival at Penn Station.

A rescue engine was eventually sent to bring the train into New York where passengers continuing to points beyond there were transferred to other trains.

An Amtrak spokesman said the train had 106 passengers aboard. One of those passengers told the Associated Press that Amtrak personnel did not keep passengers informed as the delay progressed.

Amtrak Cancels Trains Due to Snowstorm

January 29, 2022

Amtrak announced Friday afternoon widespread service cancellations ahead of a winter storm expected to hit the Northeast today and dump up to two feet of snow in some areas.

Although most of the cancellations involve Eastern corridor services, some long-distance trains are affected, including the Lake Shore Limited.

Nos. 48 and 448 did not depart Chicago on Friday night. Combined with a scheduled cancellation of the Capitol Limited, this meant that no Amtrak trains for the East Coast departed Chicago on Friday.

Through late March, the Capitol is scheduled to skip departing Chicago and Washington on Fridays and Saturdays.

Amtrak’s website shows the Lake Shore still scheduled to leave Chicago Saturday night.

However, the westbound Lake Shore Limited from New York and Boston on Saturday has been cancelled, meaning there will be no Amtrak service from the East Coast to Chicago leaving today.

In a service advisory, Amtrak said the northbound New York-Charlotte Carolinian will terminate in Washington on Saturday. The southbound Carolinian will originate in Washington on Sunday.

The same plan is in effect for the New York-Savannah, Georgia Palmetto.

The New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is thus far unaffected by the service cuts, but Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, via Philadelphia, will be limited. No Keystone trains will operate between Philadelphia and New York.

The Vermonter will be canceled Saturday the length of its route.

Empire Corridor service will be limited between New York and Albany-Rensselaer, New York, but the Maple Leaf and other trains to Niagara Falls, New York, are still scheduled to operate.

All service between New York and Boston, as well as the shuttle trains between Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, are canceled on Saturday.

Also canceled are all Acela trains between Washington and New York. Four Northeast Regional trains, including two that operate into Virginia, have been scrubbed. Downeaster service between Boston and Maine will be limited.

On Sunday Northeast Regional Nos. 150 and 160 (Boston-New York) are cancelled as is Downeaster No. 690.

Northeast Regional No. 195 (Boston-Richmond, Virginia) will originate in New York as will No. 195 (Boston-Newport News, Virginia).

NEC Improvements Projects Plan Released

July 21, 2021

A 15-year $117 billion plan for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor has been released by the Northeast Corridor Commission.

The plan, which the commission billed as the most ambitious reinvestment program in the corridor’s history, encompasses 150 projects and capital renewal efforts.

In a statement, the commission said it hopes the plan, if implemented, will result in a modern and resilient railroad with safe, reliable, and more frequent service; connections to new markets; and reduced travel times between communities.

“Improving the NEC rail system is a vital multistate effort,” said Amit Bose, deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and NEC Commission co-chair.

The plan, known as C35, is described as the first phase of the long-term vision for the corridor established in the Federal Railroad Administration’s 2017 NEC FUTURE plan to make significant improvements to NEC rail service for both existing and new riders, on both commuter-rail systems and Amtrak.

Among the projects cited in the plan are cutting the Amtrak Acela travel time between Washington and New York by 26 minutes, increasing Amtrak Northeast Regional service levels by 33 percent, and doubling service for several commuter railroads.

Use of New Acela Trains Delayed to 2022

June 4, 2021

Inauguration of Amtrak’s new generation of Acela equipment has been delayed for a year while the manufacturer modifies them to better work with the catenary in the Northeast Coridor.

The Acela trainsets had been expected to enter revenue service this year, but their debut has been pushed back to spring 2022.

Amtrak found the pantographs on the new trains sometimes lose contact with the catenary on curves resulting in the trains being unable to reach top speed.

Amtrak ordered 28 trainsets from Alstom. Larry Biess, Amtrak’s assistant vice president of mechanical, said the aging and curvy nature of the Northeast Corridor presented problems that the Avelia Liberty trainsets did not encounter in Europe.

Amtrak and Alstom are working to modify the trains but that will require additional testing, computer modeling, and simulations.

Biess said the testing has taken time and added several months to the timeline to deliver the equipment.