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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Amtrak’s Acela Trains Are About to Get a Big Upgrade

New Amtrak Avelia train at a media preview in New York.

Mmmmm, so bullety.
Photograph: ED JONES/AFP by way of Getty Pictures (Getty Pictures)

As a lifelong West coaster, if there’s one factor I’ve all the time been slightly envious of on the East coast, it’s the high-ish velocity Acela trains. They’re rad and hit speeds of as much as 150 mph over quick stretches between Boston and Washington, D.C. They even look cool.

Sadly, they’re additionally getting previous, with the majority of Acela trains in service cresting the two-decade mark. Now although, the subsequent technology is being inbuilt a manufacturing unit in New York, and never solely will they be sooner, however they’ll even be loads nicer to be in, with trendy conveniences like USB charging to your units and touchless doorways.

Different enhancements to the trains themselves embrace the flexibility to lean in corners like a bike to assist preserve larger speeds on curvier sections of observe. Adjoining coaches can even share a wheel meeting, which ought to make for a much less bouncy and extra secure, comfy trip general.

The brand new Avelia trains are being constructed by a French firm referred to as Alstom, and unsurprisingly they’re being modeled after the tremendous quick TGV trains that run, for instance, within the Channel Tunnel between the U.Ok. and France. Sadly, not like the rail techniques in Europe, the U.S. system is a multitude, and that’s largely as a result of age of the tracks – a few of which, in accordance with a report revealed on Thursday by the Washington Put up, are upwards of 180 years previous.

The brand new trains’ 160-mph prime velocity (although they’re constructed to go as much as 186 mph) will solely be reached for 34 miles in Massachusetts and Rhode Island after which for an additional 16 miles in New Jersey. Nonetheless, the tracks are getting plenty of upgrades alongside the route that may assist to enhance the general common velocity of the trains, shaving day without work of individuals’s journeys.

These new Avelias are anticipated to enter restricted service within the fall of 2023, so get stoked.

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