US government-owned passenger train service Amtrak has contracted Alstom to design and build 28 new high-speed trains which will run on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington D.C.
Amtrak has also awarded Alstom with a contract to provide long-term technical support and supply spare components and parts for the maintenance of the new trainsets.
The order is for Avelia Liberty, the latest development of Alstom’s high-speed train range Avelia, which will be able to carry up to 33% more passengers than the current Acela trains and will travel at speeds up to 300 km/h.
Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman said the new trainsets will increase passenger capacity, provide more frequent service, minimize journey times and improve operating costs and energy efficiency.
“Amtrak is taking the necessary actions to keep our customers, the Northeast region and the American economy moving forward,” Mr Boardman said.
“These trainsets and the modernization and improvement of infrastructure will provide our customers with the mobility and experience of the future.”
According to Alstom, the trainset configuration includes an innovative compact power car and nine passenger cars, with the possibility to add three more cars. Each concentrated power car is equipped with Alstom’s pioneering Crash Energy Management (CEM) system.
The train is also equipped with the company’s Tiltronix anticipative tilting technology, which allows the train to manoeuvre curves safely and more comfortably at high speeds.
Jérôme Wallut, Senior Vice President, Alstom North-America said the best part of the Avelia Liberty for Amtrak will be manufactured in the United States.
He said the new trainsets will be manufactured at Alstom’s site in Hornell, and maintained in the depots of Amtrak in Boston, New York and Washington DC with additional support from Alstom’s sites in New York, Delaware and Illinois.
“Alstom’s high speed trains, which we have branded Avelia, are the most advanced, reliable and safest trains in the world,” Mr Wallut said.
“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 two contracts, valued at US $2 billion, will result in the creation of more than 1,000 jobs, including 750 in New York with 400 of those at Alstom facilities.