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Acela Links, News and Updates Below, PIC BELOW NEWS

Amtrak's Acela Site: new Acela RE info page
TGV Pages: Acela Express Page
Stan's Railpix: Acela Picture Pages
Railway-Tech: Acela Page
Railway Age Magizine: April '99 Detailed Acela Article
Railway Age Magizine: May '99 Detailed HSR (including Acela) article
Unofficial Amtrak Photo Archive: Acela Pages
Nationall Corridors Website/ Destination Freedom: go to Destination Freedom newsletter for info on Acela and other services
HSR For US/ History and Future: Long 9 Page Report
Hoovers Online: Article on Acela
The Northeast Railfan Pages: 2 Great Pics of Acela

Recent Notes on Acela Preperation in NEC, As of 11/07/00-vote Gore/Acela To Start!

PREDICTION: "Acela we have a problem"

For 32 Acela Regional Trains in about 1 week, each train was late an average of 12.51612903 mins late. Only 6 ontime or early trains. Many 40 min late trains. A few over hour late trains! Normally, 5 min-8 min late trains. WE HAVE A will they ever run more trains, faster trains, and ontime trains, if they can't do it now!

-Acela Express trains are being painted w/ Amtrak's NEW logo.

-Acela TO BEGIN:

Nov 16 (press run--for VIP's only)

Dec 11-revenue service, 1 daily roundtrip, 3.27 mins BOS-NYC, 2 trains more per month. Acela Super Express, nonstop DC-NYC-BOS (RTE,Back Bay) we will see in several months. Trip time b/w NYC-WAS @ 2.44 mins. Time b/w BOS_NYC to be brought down to 3.22 mins soon after. 2-3 years for 3.05 mins. (dissapointing!)

------------------------------------------------------------------- FOR A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ACELA PROBLEMS READ FROM THE BOTTOM UP (oldest to newest developments)

-A test Acela EX made a sim. pas. journey a few weeks ago, aiming for 3.10 mins schd. with 2 mins stop at each station. W/ absolute blcoking it arrived NYP 5 mins early.

-Acela EX should begin operation w/ the Fall shd. change, Oct 29. This is not official, and not definite. However, it is Amtrak's aim to do this, starting lim. EX service w/ 2 round trips per day BOS-WAS. The running time would be 3.20 mins. This time should be brought down as more sets are phased in, and track/ signal improvements are finished. Run. time b/w NYC-WAS is 2.45 mins.

-A false rumor circled around saying the FRA had certified all Acela EX trainsets, for 150 MPH operation, with 7 inches cat. def. This is FALSE. As reported by the reliable National Corridors In., the FRA is very close to certifying the trains, but has yet to do so. Meanwhile, after that Amtrak would still have to 'accept' the trains.

-Amtrak now has around 7 trainsets which are testing in the NEC

------------***NEW NEWS ABOVE***-------------

-Amtrak is testing the express train in the North end of the corridor, service is expected late Sept. or Oct.

-The HHP locomotives (1) is being used in revenue service in the corridor b/w NYC and PHL.

-The catenary installed b/w New Haven and Boston could have non tested cheaper materials then meant to, authorities have discovered. This is bad for Amtrak long term. See pic far below for catnary.

-Amtrak resumed testing of the Express trainsets (4) in the Northeast, after Bombardier/Alstom placed longer bolts into the train's locomotives, and the FRA has approved testing. NOT OFFICIAL: Amtrak is testing at slower speeds, to make sure the bolts are okay, and then will resumer high speed testing. The 60000 miles of testing required will have to be restarted. OFFICIAL: Next week testing should start in New England. SOURCE:

-Amtrak chairman, Thompson, said that Amtrak is now assesing major penalties to the manufactures of the Acela EX trainset, which Amtrak chairman said still!!! has a major wheel-ware problem, still unresolved, along w/ tilting which is below contract specifications. When asked if Amtrak would ask for money back on the trainsets, the response was "absolutely." Amtrak would not give #'s, but said, "we have lawyers working on this." Bombardier/Alstom had no response about the penalties, but said they are focused on the trainsets, which they say are aiming to be out for mid-summer. AMTRAK's Thompson said September is now the practical date, which he said gets him very angry.

-ACELA EX: TESTING STOPPED!!! Amtrak found no or cracked bolts connecting the trucks and the power cars of the Acela Express. Amtrak suspended testing, and sent back the truck and bolts to Barre, Vermont, where the train is being built. Amtrak expects this to to take a few weeks out of the Acela testing, thus the trains will not be in revenue service untill at best, mid August. The bolts were showing stress and sometimes were missing, and in other instances cracked on the power cars. Amtrak said if it is a problem strictly with the bolts the delay to passenger service will be minimall, however if the truck is putting to much stress on that area to to another problem, then delays could be substansial. On a good note, the Acela has shown to be un-usualy smooth ride, rapid accelaration, and braking.SOURCE: & AP NEWS

-An Amtrak Acela RE train's electrical engine broke around Mansfield, MA, several days ago. The train was pulled in 1 hr 22 minutes late. On a recent trip I took on an Acela RE to NYC the engine also broke down. This is not what Amtrak needs for sucsess.

-Acela service could be July 9, with the summer/fall scd. change.

-Electric power is fully up between NYC and BOS with the exception of 15 miles of track.

-2 New Acela RE trains should enter shd. service withen a month or so.

-New uniforms should appear withen a month, in the northeast, with a major press anouncement July 4, with other Amtrak announcements. SEE AMTRAK NEWS SECTION

-Joint Offices of Mass. Elec. and Balfour And Betty in Old Saybrook Ct created for Amtrak's electrification project between New Haven and Boston were raided by the FBI. Amtrak and the FBI took computers, and documents from the angency, to investigate why contracters have made hundreds of changes to the work plan, making the original cost of about 325 million dollars become over 600 million dollars. About 20 subpoenas have been issued for documents from Balfour Betty. Amtrak says that this should not further delay Acela Service scheduled for summer. Electrification which is still not completer on both tracks was meant to be completed by June 1999! Amtrak says there are "doing what they need to, to protect federal money" (maybe over 100 million dollars of it!)Amtrak has paid the companys about 487 million dollars so far. SOURCE: AP NEWS

-NO 3 HOURS BETWEEN NYC and BOSTON- Amtrak announced Tuesday May 30 that the Acela Express trains will NOT be able to make the journey in 3 hours for some time. The CDOT who owns the tracks between New Haven and NYC will NOT allow higher speeds over 75 MPH (in CT) and 90 (IN Rhode Island) due to heavy congestion, and an old 1912 outdated electric wire system. Travel time will take "about 3 hrs and 15 mins". Amtrak says that travel time will be "whittled down definitley withen a year or 2". In the next several years the CDOT will upgrade tracks to bring CT speeds for Acela up to 90 MPH, saving 4 minutes off the trip. Meanwhile, Amtrak must improve train controls and streaches of track between New Haven and Boston for a 3 hr. time. Currently the Acela EX sets are undergoing 60,000 miles of endurance tests between NYC and WAS, and in June between BOS also. Amtrak hopes to have Acela EX revenue service starting in August, and from there 1-2 trains per month untill all 20 trains are in service. SOURCE: The Boston GLobe:

-There are still rumors floating around mentioning that Amtrak is still having troubles with their high speed train sets, the rumor, un-confirmed, suggests September. Check out ---forums---amtrak----then go into Acela Posts

-Amtrak announced it's new Acela EX trains will be stopping 8 times per day, 2 North, 2 South, in the morning, and same in the evening, in Trenton, NJ. Time savings to NYC will be 5 minutes, and 10 to Washington, and 2 1/2 to Boston. Amtrak officials declined to say how much more tickets will be, and just said that the trains will start 'later this summer.' Trenton, NJ served 900,000 Amtrak passengers last year. 20 high speed trains will be in service eventually. Source; (go to Trenton Times)

-Amtrak wires came down north of Baltimore, and cancelled many trains that are electric. They were pulled down by another train. And amtrak thinks they can run a bullet train on these old wires between NYC-WAS. check out (search....amtrak) for article

-Amtrak employees are indicating July will be Acela's time, to shine.

-Check out, at the amtrak forum section for some peices of acela info (rumors)

Posted by: Randolph Resor ( on Fri, Apr 28, 00 at 13:14 Latest I've heard, still unconfirmed, is that Acela Express trains will enter service with a Northeast Corridor timetable change on July 9. The publisher of Railway Age told me last night that Amtrak had told him the problems were solved, and that the trains would enter service in July. Informtaion to this effect is on the Railway Age website.

Independently, a post on the Trainorders BBS cited the July 9 date for a timetable change.

As to new trucks, I have not heard that. I did post earlier the information that the trucks are *not* TGV trucks, but rather a design developed for an order of 125-mph electric locomotives that was canceled by SNCF. Alstom just re-used the design.

The much-touted 150-mph speed of Acela Express will apply on only 45 route-miles south of New York, and on about 40 north of New York. On the south end, speeds will remain at 135, I am told, until constant-tension catenary replaces the current PRR design on the two segments (one in New Jersey and one in Maryland, north of Baltimore) where 150 mph running will be authorized.

-Acela RE service is stil using Metroliner cafe cars with a new menu.

-Acela RE service cant be expanded untill Amtrak elec. the other track north of New Haven.

-Acela EX trains have a few problems, and according to crew members, service wont be untill summer, and some think in the fall is more likely

-Acela Express trainsets are based in PHL, and Washington, and probably are located all around the corridor at dif. times

-And there are now 3 Acela Express trains on the NEC, 2001,2002,2003, and one heading over to it from testing out west. Ounce they get those things going.....they will have enough for some actually frequent service between NYC-BOS, or BOS-WAS.

-Acela Express is slalted now for 'mid 2000' according to an Amtrak official. This is starting to not look so good.

-Amtrak's new HSR electric locomotives are being brought to the NEC for testing. These will operate at 125 MPH for Acela Regionall trains, suplementing AEM-7's (older electric engines). The difference between the new and old engines, is a: appearence, the new engines look like a bullet train engine, on both sides, speed, the new engines can go 135, and the new engines can go 14 car service at revenue speed of 125, versus, the older engines that carry 9 cars. Amrak has not 'accepted' the engines yet.

Amtrak in the Northeast will offer 1,500 more seats a day on Acela RE and Metroliner trains primarily, if a US Airways strike occurs at 12:01 AM Saturday morning, which is now likely.

Acela Express trains will hit the tracks July, somewhat offcialy, Amtrak has said, that is the earliest the constorium has been able to do. Check out picture below of Acela Express. Check out for more details.

Amtrak was given 1 million Canadian dollars by Canada, according to a news report, to persuade Amtrak into choosing the Montreal based Bombardier to build the highspeed Acela Express trains, due in service latter this year.

Acela Regional Service for the first month has exceeding Amtraks ridership expectations, by as much as 50%! On time performance for the first week was a low 85% but after the first week it popped up over 90%. It must be that the ridership was spured by the 4 hour travel time. For Full Artcile See, or directly at:

Amtrak's NYC train tunnels are a disaster waiting to happen, according to a GAO Hearing. The six tunnels owned/operated by Amtrak, need imidiate attention, to replace ventalation/fire exits. Amtrak is meant to cough up millions for this, millions they dont have. How can the goverment tell Amtrak to rebuild the tunnels when there is not even enough money for all other plans by Amtrak. Check AP News for Full Coverage.

RTE 128 Train Station in Mass, is open and running. Usership is up 30% due to the improvements.

CORRECTION: There is no official start up date for the Acela Express trains, however as satted below, rumors indicate mid July will be the start up date.

The Acela logo is meant to be an abstract sea turtle. (NY Times Article) Interior of train is grey and looks pretty basic, and buisness like (but good), however cafe car looks very good.

Acela Express trains now officialy will not be hitting revenue passenger service untill mid July. This is around a year late, from what allready has been a long overdue and over delayed project.

It appears as though Amtrak's Acela Express trains will not be hitting passenger revenue service untill mid-July. This is not official yet however.

Not official yet, however Amtraks sleek Acela Express trains might be starting even latter then the delay Antrak planned on, possibly 1 year latter then the originall start up date. Now its looking like Amtrak's bullet trains wont hit revenue service untill late June, this possibly jepordizing Amtrak's future. However, none of this is for sure, as Amtrak's board of directors have a meeting with Bombardier/Alstom this week. Amtrak is pushing to get the train on the tracks, but do lots of testing before putting the trains in passenger service.Amtrak says they are dissapointed with Bombardier/Alstom. Bombardier/Alstom however say Amtrak and the FRA have added testing that was never in the contract, such as testing on the shore line between BOS and NYC, before putting trains in passenger service. At any looks like these trains wont be carrying passengers for some time. Source:

Amtrak's Acela add campaign, "Life on Acela" is getting lots of critecism, the Washington Post for example, noted that the ads dont even show you that it is a train add. We agree with the Post, and think that Amtrak should be right out there, with the reader of the add, a: show great pic of new bullet train b:show trip times and c:show classes of service. Amtrak however says the ads are doing as intended, making people wonder what Acela is? Why make people wonder when you can tell them what it is? Who knows, but Amtrak, which says the second phase of the ads, will be much more educational and staright forward.

Acela Expresse's main glitch, wheel wear, has been fixed. Now time is needed to test the trainset more. Source:

Amtrak's Acela Regional Service was kicked off today this morning from Boston's South Station. The Acela RE service started 20 minutes late due to mechanical dificulties. However the service is up and running now, with 2 rush hour dp. per day from Boston, and 2 from New York. Mass state gov. Paul Celluchi (sp) atteneded the electric power 'switch on' celebrations, along with Tommy Thompson, Amtrak board director, and Former Mass. Gov. Mike Dukakis. The route between NYC and BOS is now 90 minutes faster, with the electric engines, making the journey in 3 hrs. and 55 minutes. Next stop Acela Express Service:....this spring, with furthur reduced travel time between Boston and Washington DC, with a NYC-BOS journey time of 3 hours, and a NYC-WAS journey time of 2 hrs, 30 minutes. Check out ---Recent news-- for more info. & for reservations on the new service. The new refurbished Amfleet coaches for Acela RE service, are not called Amfleet anymore. The new name for the ex-Amfleet coaches is Capstone.

Amtrak announced that the official start up of limeted high speed electric Acela Regional Service will commence Jan 31, 2000. This marks the first electric rail service to Boston ever. Tickets for the service which will cut the journey from 5 to less then 4 hours go on sale January 25th.

Amtrak is continuing to plan a late Jan start up of limeted high speed service to BOS, despite recomendation, of the DOT. Amtrak says service with 2 rountrip Acela RE trains daily will start o the line, by late January, wich will require 3 swithches between track between BOS and NH. The whole electrification should be complete by June, 2000, when Amtrak will start Acela EX trainsets in the corridor.

the BOS-New Haven electrification has been energized meaning that power has been 'turned on' on at least 1 track between New Haven and Boston, making it possible for Amtrak to run test trains from Washington, DC to Boston, MA. Passenger electric trains should start sometime in January.

The DOT has cited that the new overheard electric wires between New Haven, CT and Boston are having far too many problems and the DOT has advised Amtrak change it's starting date of All Electric Acela Regional dual roundtrips to Boston to sometime latter then the currently planned starup of January 2000. Amtrak has said that they will not startup the service if it is deemed unsafe or un-reliable, however Amtrak said it WILL start the electric service in January 2000 as planned.

Amtrak is continuing Acela Express testing in the NEC, mainly centered around Philadelphia.

Amtrak's Penn Station has put new floor tiling down in its main concourse, and installed a new Acela waiting area, with new escalators on the east side of the station

Many Northeast Direct trains (soon to be Acela Regional) are using Acela Regionall Refurbished coaches, and Buisness Class coaches

Metroliners are using some older formerly Club Class cars for its First Class service, instead of its newer Metro Club cars, this is probably due to remodoling

The new Acela Regional coaches, are very simalar to Metroliner Equipment, just with Acela blue and tourqoiuse seats, and exterior paint


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