Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Mon August 29 2016

Amtrak Announces Purchase of 28 New High-Speed Trains

Car Rental & Rail | Amtrak | Donald Wood | August 29, 2016

Amtrak Announces Purchase of 28 New High-Speed Trains

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On Friday, Amtrak announced that it has reached a new contract with rail transport company Alstom to produce 28 next-generation, high-speed trains for the company’s premium Acela Express service.

According to Amtrak’s official website, the contract for the new trains is part of a $2.45 billion investment into the modernization and expansion of the Acela Express service on the Northeast Corridor.

The new high-speed trains will boast a capacity of one-third more passenger seats than the previous trainsets, yet they will still feature high-end comfort of current Acela Express service. The trains will also include Wi-Fi access, personal outlets, USB ports and adjustable reading lights at every seat.

The demand for Acela Express service is climbing, and the addition of more seats will help accommodate the influx of travelers taking to the rails. Amtrak is reporting the first prototype of the new trains will debut in 2019 and the first train will enter service in 2021. The new trains will replace the entire current fleet by the end of 2022.

In addition, the trains will be some of the safest in the world, with specifications that meet Federal Railroad Administration guidelines, including a Crash Energy Management system.

“The next generation of Acela service will mean safer, faster and modern trains for customers throughout the Northeast,” United States Senator Charles Schumer said in a statement. “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.”

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