Amtrak, the rail company of the United States, was not be known for manufacturing high-tech trains until now. But it may soon change. The company has announced its plan to make the next-generation high-speed rail that will replace the current Acela Express in the Northeast Corridor, including the Washington Union Station and Moynihan Station New York.
The next-generation high-speed train, expected to be launched in 2021, aims at giving a new travel experience to the public. Some of the services that it plans to provide to the commuters, as mentioned on the Amtrak blog, include:
- Approximately one-third more passenger seating, while preserving the spacious, high-end comfort found on board today
- Modern interior design
- Improved Wi-Fi access and quality
- Personal outlets, USB ports and adjustable reading lights at every seat
- Enhanced food service options
- Exceed the ADA minimum accessibility requirements
The upcoming next-generation trainsets will be one of the safest systems, and will reduce operating energy consumption by at least 20 percent through minimal aerodynamic drag and lightweight design. Amtrak is partnering with Alstom, a leading global provider of innovative systems and equipment in the railway sector, for building the new trainsets. Ninety percent of the high-speed trains will be made in the U.S. by Alstom.
The top speed of the new trains will be 186 mph. It is slower than Japan's rail lines, which go up to 200 mph, but it is expected to make a big impact by boosting the current Acela Express fleet by 40 percent. The new train service will be offered between Washington D.C. and New York City every half an hour during peak times, and every hour between New York City and Boston throughout the day.
Amtrak is investing on the next-generation trains from the $2.45 billion loan it received from the federal government.