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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 May 23, 20, 11:38 am
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Next Gen Acela testing at 165 mph at Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo

A short video of the next generation Acela testing at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo:

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Old May 23, 20, 12:29 pm
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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.

Part of the problem Amtrak has is that the tracks are too curvy in too many places, and straightening them would be a legal nightmare in terms of having to condemn (eminent domain) or otherwise acquire the real estate in those places. Some routes, such as New Haven to Providence, or Seattle to Vancouver (BC) follow the coastline and could not be straightened out at all!
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Old May 23, 20, 12:35 pm
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Follow-up, to answer my own question, I see that the "new" Acela cars are definitely shorter than the cars in current use. The new cars have only 6 pairs of windows. That shorter length may allow them to take moderate curves at a higher speed, as opposed to the current Acela cars which have to slow down for moderate curves.
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Old May 24, 20, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
A short video of the next generation Acela testing at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo:

https://twitter.com/Amtrak/status/1263819781519618048
Great shots. Thanks for sharing!
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Old May 24, 20, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Follow-up, to answer my own question, I see that the "new" Acela cars are definitely shorter than the cars in current use. The new cars have only 6 pairs of windows. That shorter length may allow them to take moderate curves at a higher speed, as opposed to the current Acela cars which have to slow down for moderate curves.
? Consider that the center of mass of the longer car on a curve would be inside that of the shorter car hence less centrifugal force. Any differences would be hardly measurable.
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Old May 25, 20, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by dicksboat View Post
? Consider that the center of mass of the longer car on a curve would be inside that of the shorter car hence less centrifugal force. Any differences would be hardly measurable.
Maybe? I was thinking of trolleys (streetcars) and model RRs, in which shorter cars can go faster on the sharper curves than can the long cars. I assumed that this principle scaled up to regular trains, but maybe not?
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Old May 25, 20, 2:24 pm
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I find the current Acelas more stylish than the new ones. But I guess there's some engineering need for the way the power cars are (with sloping exterior walls that don't match the sloping exterior walls of the coaches, and the unusual "face" and "beak")--or maybe not? I've seen the Acela IIs at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and find them more attractive in person.
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Old Jun 2, 20, 1:38 pm
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Is this actually faster? I thought I had read that the current Acelas already have a top speed of 165mph. Though either way the top speed seems irrelevant as actual speeds are driven by traffic and track conditions such that the Acela rarely gets near that fast.
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Old Jun 2, 20, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
Is this actually faster? I thought I had read that the current Acelas already have a top speed of 165mph.
Wikipedia says that the Avelia Liberty has a maximum speed of 220 mph.
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Old Jun 3, 20, 8:29 am
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Curious then that the testing is only up to 165 mph. Maybe they figure that is as fast as they'll ever get it on the NEC.
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Old Jun 3, 20, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Mr. BoH View Post
Curious then that the testing is only up to 165 mph.
165 mph is the speed limit on the test track itself, per this dated FRA webpage:
There are approximately 50 miles of test track at TTC. The short High Tonnage Loop is used primarily to test track components under heavy axle load freight cars. The 13.5 mile long Railroad Test Track is used for high-speed testing up to 165 mph. The shorter Transit Test Track is equipped with third rail electrification and a maximum speed of 90 mph. Various other test tracks are used to evaluate vehicle performance over a range of extreme track conditions.
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Old Jun 7, 20, 7:57 am
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The Washington Post has an update on this. Still no mention of whether the curves around Baltimore and Philly will ever be straightened out.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...mments-wrapper
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Old Jun 7, 20, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Still no mention of whether the curves around Baltimore and Philly will ever be straightened out.
My understanding is that an alignment has been determined for Baltimore, but there is no money to design and built it:

Trains Magazine - FRA chooses route for new NEC Baltimore tunnel (April 6, 2017)

Amtrak.com - Baltimore & Potomac (B&P) Tunnel Replacement

BPTunnel.com - B&P Tunnel Project
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Old Jun 7, 20, 2:58 pm
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Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
My understanding is that an alignment has been determined for Baltimore, but there is no money to design and built it:

Trains Magazine - FRA chooses route for new NEC Baltimore tunnel (April 6, 2017)

Amtrak.com - Baltimore & Potomac (B&P) Tunnel Replacement

BPTunnel.com - B&P Tunnel Project
With an estimated price of $4.5 billion, am sure that Amtrak could sell the naming rights for both the tunnel and the Baltimore-Penn station to a multi-billionaire!
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Old Jun 7, 20, 4:25 pm
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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.

Part of the problem Amtrak has is that the tracks are too curvy in too many places, and straightening them would be a legal nightmare in terms of having to condemn (eminent domain) or otherwise acquire the real estate in those places. Some routes, such as New Haven to Providence, or Seattle to Vancouver (BC) follow the coastline and could not be straightened out at all!
I don't think this is fair to Acela.

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.

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.
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