• Acela II (Alstom Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by shadyjay
8th Notch wrote: Sat May 20, 2023 9:56 am It does have a mini high level on both tracks that can fit at least 2 doubles, a few of the Acela’s use to stop at New London pre pandemic.
As of my last visit at New London a few weeks ago, SLE trains board/detrain on the Track 1 mini high south of the station, layover at the station, then head back west (most SLE trains now utilize the Metro North/ConnDOT M-8s, which are high level platform only). Amtrak SB trains may still unload in front of the station on Track 1, which is a low level, but could/may open the door on the high level for additional boarding to reduce dwell times. It's an odd layout with the grade crossing right there, and you better be on the right side of the tracks if two trains are in the station (no up&over or subway).
  by Jeff Smith
Behind paywall: https://www.washingtonpost.com/transpor ... s-delayed/

It's official, launch delayed until 2024.
Testing ‘difficulties’ delay launch of faster Acela trains, Amtrak says
The new trains are now slated to enter service in 2024.

New Acela trains scheduled to debut this fall need more analysis to ensure they can safely operate on the curvy and aging tracks between Washington and Boston, railroad officials said, saying the new trains are now slated to enter service in 2024, at least three years behind schedule.

But their delivery has been snarled by multiple delays, including some stemming from unforeseen complexities in testing and computer simulation processes required by the Federal Railroad Administration. Amtrak and train manufacturer Alstom have cited some compatibility hiccups between the high-tech train, modeled after those in operation across Europe, and infrastructure that dates back 190 years in some areas.
The latest hurdle, officials said, involves testing the train’s wheels, particularly at higher speeds.

“The modeling of the wheel to track interface is particularly complex due to age, condition, and specific characteristics of Amtrak infrastructure on the Northeast corridor, and especially the existing tracks,” Alstom said in a statement.
  by Jeff Smith
I'm sure this has been mentioned in previous threads, but the extra 10mph gained does not result in timekeeping savings of any note. That said, it's new and additional equipment replacing the Bombardier equipment.

160mph will be possible on 50 miles of track resulting in time elapsed at 18m 45s. At 150, trip time elapsed is 20m. To me, if they can certify the trains at 150 while doing additional testing, they should go ahead and start.

Also, as of 2022, it looks like 15 sets were complete. The article is dated September 22, 2022 at 10:42 a.m. EDT

Article behind a paywall: https://www.washingtonpost.com/transpor ... ed-trains/
Their delivery will provide a pandemic-era boost to Amtrak, adding to momentum for a massive expansion backed by unprecedented political and financial support from Washington. With their aerodynamic white-and-blue exteriors, touchless doors, USB outlets and improved cafe cars, they are an upgrade from the 22-year-old vehicles they will replace.
Three years after manufacturing began, Train 15 was the latest to reach the end of the production line late this summer inside the 137-year-old shop. Alstom, a French train manufacturer, expanded the complex into a massive operation, so far delivering four train sets that will carry passengers in fall 2023.
Top speeds of 160 mph will only be reached along 34 miles in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with another 16 miles in New Jersey. Ongoing track enhancements between D.C. and New York will allow the new trains to travel 10 mph faster in segments with a 125 mph speed limit. Signal upgrades at various locations could eventually boost speeds from 45 mph to 80 mph.
Alstom officials said some of the train’s features will debut in the United States before Europe, including touchless doors and spacious restrooms with a 60-inch diameter turning radius, which exceed accessibility requirements.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Off topic, but WOW is Jeff ever "aggressive" with Wash Post paywalls.

Even The New York Times allows a few "freebies" a month to anyone and limits print home delivery subscribers ($1600 py) like myself to ten per month.

But as newspapers build their pay walls, all I can think is "high time; you should never have allowed the freebies you did '96-2K and even afterwards". I respect you are simply protecting your copyrighted material, but if you never allowed the "free for all" you once had, you would have never caused the ill will you apparently have as you tightened up.

Outfits such as Kalmbach wisely protected their copyrighted material. Had others done so, a lot of hard feelings that have arisen
  by STrRedWolf
Newspapers were fine online with static imagery and limited animation, not chewing up a majority of the space.

Now, every newspaper is doing video (despite not being related to the article, and according to how Facebook faked some reports), the ads are served by scripts that at times can exploit holes in non-updated browsers (yes, I had a scare that was caught by antivirus), and there's ZERO posted ad policy documents.

Lets face it. The news that's safe to view is printed on dead trees.

Now if Amtrak partnered up with the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, and had newspapers on every seat for First Class...
  by STrRedWolf
Jeff Smith wrote: Sat May 27, 2023 5:47 pm Back to Avelia please.
Will it have newspapers on every seat? :3

But yes, I hope they can at least identify where improvements can be made both on the equipment and on the track themselves. I already know that the BWI Airport Amtrak and West Baltimore MARC stations are slated for some track alignment tweaks.
  by pbj123
In addition to the very modest increase in top speed, I believe their top speed on curves will be higher (150 MPH?). The FRA currently holds down top speed on any curve to 130, if I remember correctly. There could be an increase in speeds around curves that could save more time than the small increase to the max speed. I hope there are people who can shed more light on Amtrak's plan for top speeds on curves. Anecdotally , I remember a track chart for the Canton Viaduct that showed a speed of 140 over that span. That was during its major rehab in the early 2000's .
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Journal's take.

Fair Use:
Amtrak’s $2 billion effort to replace its fleet of Acela express trains on the Washington-to-Boston corridor has hit a foreseeable snag: The new trains have to run on an old railroad.

The trains from France-based Alstom were originally set to begin service in 2021, but Amtrak and Alstom officials now say they will remain sidetracked at least until 2024 as the manufacturer struggles with mandatory testing intended to show how the units will perform in real-world conditions.
If you ask me, I think this "cop out" roundly translates to "we thought we'd make like our off the shelf TGV equipment could fake it, but we have now been caught, so we must confess".

Let's hope that the now 23yo existing Acelas can hang on. It is my understanding that some cars have been chopped up.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed May 31, 2023 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by TheOneKEA
The quote about raising speeds from 45mph to 80mph strongly implies that a lot more interlocking upgrades will be happening. I know that HANSON is supposed to be online eventually, and that BRIDGE, FULTON, CHARLES and UNION will all be altered as a result of the new tunnels and the expansion of Baltimore Penn, but are there other interlockings in Maryland that are slated to have their medium speed movements upgraded to limited speed movements?
  by TheOneKEA
That’s logical. I have heard anecdotally that GROVE will have an additional 80mph No.32 turnout installed for the divergence of Track A in the interlocking but I have never seen an official diagram of the planned alterations. As for WINANS, there’s lots of alternatives that could be considered.
  by scratchyX1
ExCon90 wrote: Wed May 31, 2023 8:10 pm Any interlockings to be upgraded should be for 80 mph, like SWIFT -- 45 is so 20th century. I see a lot of European head-end videos, and many places now have high-speed turnouts that didn't used to.
IIRC, alon levy has been saying that low hanging fruit like speeding up interlockings gives a much better increase in speed to all traffic, than raising track speed in a few places, for years.
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