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Next Gen Acela testing at 165 mph at Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo

Next Gen Acela testing at 165 mph at Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo

Old Jul 28, 20, 1:11 pm
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A bit late to this thread.

Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Finally -- but still several decades behind the rest of the world. Bullet trains in Asia and Europe go the equivalent of 200 to 265 miles per hour.
While I agree with the sentiment, very few HSR systems have day to day operational speeds in excess of 320kph (198 mph), and most are lower, with 300kph (186 mph) being more typical. The fastest system, the Shanghai Maglev, tops out at 431kph (268 mph) but is only 30 kilometers (19 miles) long.

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Both Acela are designed as a tank, i.e. heavier and stronger than many high-speed trains, to sustain crashes, because many of them operate in a closed environment, but not Acela. Because of such design, Acela's speed has been heavily limited.
While Acelas are heavier than most other HSR trainsets, they also have performance characteristics to offset that weight. The current trainsets have a top speed of 165mph, and the new trainsets have a top speed of 186 (with tilting) or 220 (without tilting) mph (though operational top speed will be 160mph), so the heavier design is not a limitation on speed.

Also - Acela is built on existing system. But many high-speed start anew. For example, a new Osaka Station - Shin-Osaka Station was built especially for Shinkansen to reach Osaka. Yet - Acela shared the same station with Northeast Regional.
This is the bigger issue, though really about the tracks and not the stations. Indeed, Shinkansen literally means "new trunk line". Shinkansen generally run on their own dedicated tracks that were explicitly designed for higher speeds. (Top speeds vary according to how old the line is, from 240 - 320kph.) (In Tokyo, for example, the Shinkansen shares Tokyo station with lots of other lines, though it operates from its own dedicated platforms.)
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Old Jul 28, 20, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by bennos View Post
While Acelas are heavier than most other HSR trainsets, they also have performance characteristics to offset that weight. The current trainsets have a top speed of 165mph, and the new trainsets have a top speed of 186 (with tilting) or 220 (without tilting) mph (though operational top speed will be 160mph), so the heavier design is not a limitation on speed.
Yet - the railroad structure we have now can't go that far...
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Old Aug 27, 20, 7:58 pm
  #18  
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I just took the Acela to and from Philly this week and you can see one of the new 2021 trains in the yard.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 10:50 pm
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
I just took the Acela to and from Philly this week and you can see one of the new 2021 trains in the yard.
One of the trainsets has been testing on the Northeast and Keystone Corridors:
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Old Sep 4, 20, 1:03 am
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I think they'd need to build elevated tracks like they have in China to get any sort of top speed usage. I just don't see that happening for numerous reasons in the USA. My train was going 350km/hr last week from Shanghai to Beijing.
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Old Sep 4, 20, 6:33 am
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What are they going to do with the old Acela cars once the new ones come online? Do they replace the cars on the NE regional or do they get scrapped?
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Old Sep 4, 20, 6:52 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
What are they going to do with the old Acela cars once the new ones come online? Do they replace the cars on the NE regional or do they get scrapped?
The current Acela fleet is quite old and needs constant repair so I would guess they get scrapped. Maybe some parts can be salvaged for other trains.
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Old Sep 4, 20, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
The current Acela fleet is quite old and needs constant repair so I would guess they get scrapped. Maybe some parts can be salvaged for other trains.
Older than the NE Regional or Keystone fleet? I don't actually know, but that would surprise me if true.
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Old Sep 4, 20, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
Older than the NE Regional or Keystone fleet? I don't actually know, but that would surprise me if true.
I guess that the high speed trains require much more maintenance work than the slower trains. There are more Federal regulations around Acela than the regional trains.
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Old Sep 4, 20, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
Older than the NE Regional or Keystone fleet? I don't actually know, but that would surprise me if true.
Last year, Amtrak issued an RFP to replace those cars:
Amtrak late last week released a request for proposals (RFP) for a new fleet of single-level passenger-rail vehicles to replace the Amfleet I cars.

Amfleet I cars are used primarily on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and adjacent state corridor routes.

"Nearly half of Amtrak's annual ridership is comprised of trips along the [NEC] and adjoining corridors, and this new state-of-the-art equipment will provide customers with an enjoyable and efficient travel experience," said Amtrak Vice President of Corporate Planning Byron Comati in a press release.
and
The new units will replace Amtrak's fleet of 470 Amfleet I and ex-Metroliner cars. The Amfleet I units are over 40 years old, while Amtrak's fleet of ex-Metroliner equipment entered service 50 years ago this week for predecessor Penn Central Railroad.
Link: Progressive Railroading - Amtrak issues RFP for Amfleet I replacements (January 21, 2019)
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Old Sep 4, 20, 3:15 pm
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Amtrak doesn't own the Acela trainsets (leased from Bombardier, which Amtrak wants nothing to do with), they're maintenance queens, and they're not really usable outside of the NEC or Keystone. I don't see PA stepping up for the latter, and Quebec-Windsor electrification isn't happening any time soon, so VIA service (even as a backdoor BBD bailout) is unlikely. Anywhere outside the US/Canada is a non-starter due to weight.

When does 150 mph become Mach 3?
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