Amtrak, Alstom Sign Contracts for New High-Speed Trains

The Avelia Liberty trains are capable of speeds up to 186 mph and have one-third more passenger seats than the Acela trains.


The new Avelia Liberty trains are expected to replace Amtrak’s Acela trains by 2022. | Photo courtesy of Michael Kurras via Wikimedia Commons.

Amtrak has signed a set of contracts totaling $1.8 billion with manufacturing company Alstom for the design and building process of 28 new high-speed trains.

The Avelia Liberty trains, which are capable of speeds up to 186 mph, will run along the Northeast Corridor between Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston, covering roughly 450 miles. Alstom will provide Amtrak with technical support and maintenance for the new trains, which are expected to begin service by the end of 2022.

The new trains will replace Amtrak’s Acela trains in hope of cutting down travel times and adding capacity – Amtrak passenger numbers increased from 2.4 million in 2002 to 3.5 million in 2014. The Avelia Liberty will have one-third more passenger seats than the Acela.

“As more people rely on Amtrak, we need modernized equipment and infrastructure to keep the region moving,” Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors Anthony Coscia said in a statement. “These trainsets will build on the popularity and demand of the current Acela Express and move this company into the future as a leader in providing world-class transportation.”

More information about the Avelia Liberty trains can be found on Amtrak’s website.

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