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Alstom to Design and Build New Amtrak High-Speed Train

Alstom have won a contract to design and build the new Amtrak high-speed train. The 28 trains will operate on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington D.C. Amtrak and Alstom also signed a long-term contract which provides for Alstom to supply Amtrak with technical support and spare components and parts to maintain the new trains. The two contracts are worth €1.8 billion.

Alstom to Design and Build New Amtrak High-Speed Train
© Alstom

Alstom Avelia Liberty

The Amtrak high-speed train will be the Alstom Avelia Liberty. It is a next-generation train in Alstom’s high-speed train range Avelia. The trainset will carry a maximum of 33% more passengers than the current Acela trains in operation. The configuration of the trainset includes an innovative compact power car and nine passenger cars. The trainset allows for three additional cars to be added to meet increased demand.

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The Avelia Liberty can operate at a maximum speed of 300 km/h, but will initially run at a top speed of 257 km/h, which is the NEC track speed limit. Each concentrated power car is fitted with Alstom’s Crash Energy Management (CEM) system.

The articulated architecture of the train provides optimum stability and passenger comfort while at the same time being additionaly safe. The train is also fitted with Alstom’s Tiltronix anticipative tilting technology, enabling it to navigate bends safely and comfortably at high speeds.

The Avelia Liberty trainsets will be made in the United States, at Alstom’s 150-year-old site in Hornell, NY. They will be maintained at Amtrak depots in Boston, New York and Washington D.C. under the specific Technical Support and Spare Supply Agreement. Alstom will provide support from its sites in New York, Delaware and Illinois for 15 years, with an option to extend for a further 15 years. The contracts will create more than 1,000 jobs in the United States, including 750 in New York. 400 of those jobs will be at Alstom facilities.  

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Joe Boardman, Amtrak President & CEO, said:

 “Amtrak is taking the necessary actions to keep our customers, the Northeast region and the American economy moving forward. These trainsets and the modernization and improvement of infrastructure will provide our customers with the mobility and experience of the future.”

Jérôme Wallut, Senior Vice President, Alstom North-America, said:

“Alstom’s high-speed trains, which we have branded Avelia, are the most advanced, reliable and safest trains in the world. Avelia Liberty will not only provide premium passenger experience but will also provide greater energy efficiency and lower lifecycle costs. This award is an illustration of the success of Alstom’s strategy of customer proximity. We would like to thank Amtrak for its vote of confidence and remain fully dedicated to making this project a success”.

The Northeast Corridor line is around 730km long. In the last decade, passenger numbers have increased from 2.4 million to 3.5 million. Because of this success, Amtrak is purchasing these trains to increase capacity, deliver more frequent services, reduce journey times and improve operating costs and energy efficiency.

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Video Courtesy of Amtrak

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