Amtrak to Replace All Acela Trains

By announcing this week that it will scrap plans to upgrade Acela trains incrementally, and instead replace them all with new equipment, the passenger rail carrier is signaling that it is speeding up the timeline for higher-speed rail service.
jpmueller99 / Flickr

Tom Gara reports on Amtrak's announcement yesterday that in order to meet growing ridership demand in the Northeast Corridor (NEC) it will replace all 20 of the carrier's existing Acela Express train sets with "new next-generation high-speed train sets," a move that Angela Greiling Keane says may be "Amtrak’s biggest equipment purchase since it bought the original trains [in 1996]..."

"Essentially," writes Gara, "instead of adding new cars to the 1990s-era trains currently running the service, beginning in the second half of this decade Amtrak will start introducing brand new trains, with more seating, more modern bells and whistles for riders, and higher speeds, once upgrades to the network allow it."

"Those new trains will run side-by side with the existing ones up until around 2025, when the old ones are phased out and the next-generation of trains capable of speeds of up to 220 miles per hour start to be introduced, alongside the next wave of network upgrades."

On the same day that Amtrak announced plans to speed up the NEC's modernization, in The Atlantic Cities, Eric Jaffe looked at a series of fascinating photographs that "stand as a unique window onto the early life of Amtrak, which began operations in 1971." 

Full Story: Amtrak’s Next-Generation Train Service, One Step Closer

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