Next generation Amtrak Acela

Following testing in Colorado this year, Amtrak’s next-generation Acela trainsets will enter service on the East Coast in 2021, with intended speeds of up to 160 miles per hour.

The Association of American Railroads’ Transportation Technology Center Inc. northeast of Pueblo has hosted the electrified power units and coaches since February. The first generation Acela trainsets debuted on the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. in 2000.

Now, there will be 28 new models built in New York that will have more passenger capacity. After testing, the trainsets will return there to receive interior detailing. Amtrak intends to pair the new trains with infrastructure upgrades along the corridor.

“With strong demand for Acela travel continuing to grow, we will test the trains to ensure customers will have safe and reliable service with modern amenities when these trains go into service next year,” said Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson earlier this year.

The testing center is a secure, 52-square-mile facility operated under contract with the Federal Railroad Administration and leased from Colorado. It was dedicated in 1971 as a high-speed testing area.

There are 48 miles of track serving to test locomotives, rolling stock and safety devices. The track technology can evaluate stability, safety and reliability of new machinery.

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