The bodyshells were made at Merrill’s facility in Alma, Michigan, where around 175 employees are manufacturing the 56 bodyshells for Alstom. The first bodyshell is scheduled to arrive at Alstom’s Hornell, NY, centre for completion in the coming weeks.

The $US 2bn contract signed in 2016 covers 28 Avelia Liberty trainsets as well as long-term technical support and spare parts for the articulated trains.

Configured with two compact power cars and between nine and 12 passenger cars, the 300km/h Avelia Liberty will accommodate 30% more passengers than the current Acela trains.