Amtrak to Bring New High-Speed Trains, Station Upgrades to Northeast Corridor
Technology| | By Margo Gothelf
All aboard! Amtrak is partnering up with Alstom in a $2.4 billion deal to bring high-speed trains to the tracks.
The new high-speed trains will replace equipment currently being used in Amtrak’s Acela Express service. The contract will mainly service the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in hopes to make the service more modern.
“Amtrak is taking the necessary actions to keep our customers, the Northeast region and the American economy moving forward,” said Amtrak president & CEO Joe Boardman. “These trainsets and the modernization and improvement of infrastructure will provide our customers with the mobility and experience of the future.”
New features on the trains will include more seats with more room, WiFi, individual outlets, USB chargers, and reading lights. The food service will also be improved making the ride much more enjoyable.
According to Amtrak, “the new trainsets will allow for increased service including half-hourly Acela Express service between Washington D.C. and New York City during peak hours, and hourly service between New York City and Boston.”
“As more people rely on Amtrak, we need modernized equipment and infrastructure to keep the region moving,” the chairman of the Amtrak board of directors Anthony Coscia explained. “These trainsets will build on the popularity and demand of the current Acela Express and move this company into the future as a leader in providing world-class transportation.”
The trains will now reach speeds up to 186 mph making travel much faster between the East Coast’s major metropolitan areas.
“The next generation of Acela service will mean safer, faster and modern trains for customers throughout the Northeast,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “This investment will pay immediate dividends for businesses and travelers from Washington D.C. to Boston, and the fact that these new trains will be built in Upstate New York makes this project a win-win. These New York-made Acela trains will soon be zipping along the Northeast Corridor and – as a regular customer – I can’t wait for my first ride.”
According to video shared to the company’s YouTube page, the trains will be 95 percent manufactured in the U.S. and create nearly 1,500 jobs directly and indirectly.
The trains are expected to make their debut in 2019 with the first prototypes and to be in full service by 2021, with the current trains being pulled off the tracks by 2022.
Check out more about Amtrak’s new high-speed trains here.