High-speed testing on Transportation Technology Center Inc’s test track will last for nine months. Testing will cover operation of the pantograph, railway dynamics, tilting, traction, wheel slip and slide control, wayside protection, brakes, and train control management systems. Once complete, the train will return to Hornell for installation of interiors.

Alstom’s Avelia Liberty trains have two compact power cars and nine articulated intermediate trailer coaches. They will be introduced on the 730km Boston - New York - Washington DC Northeast Corridor (NEC) in 2021 where they will operate at a maximum speed of 257km/h.

Amtrak is upgrading track and infrastructure along the NEC in order to improve ride quality and increase reliability and punctuality in preparation for the introduction of the new trains.

Amtrak carried more than 3.5 million passengers on its 20 existing Acela trains on the NEC in the 2019 financial year, a 4.3% increase over 2018. In December 2019, Amtrak says Acela had its best month ever, with a 16% ridership increase over the previous year.

“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,” says Amtrak’s president and CEO, Mr Richard Anderson.

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