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The brand new Amtrak Acela fleet is coming; Here's a look inside the new trains

Oct. 29, 2020
3 min read
Amtrak new Acela locomotive
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Amtrak is showing off the interiors of its brand-new Acela train cars that will begin service next year. The cars should make the whole riding experience better from a customer's point of view. TPG got a first look at mock-ups of the new trains last summer, but now we're getting pictures and video of some of the actual cars that will go into service.

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“From reliable, onboard wi-fi to enhance your digital experience, to contactless features and technology the new Acela will transform the train travel experience on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor,” said Caroline Decker, Vice President of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Service Line.

Take a look at the video highlighting some of the new features.

Decker said, "The new Acela trains will feature contactless storage options for luggage, seating with individual access to personal outlets and USB ports, plus winged headrests to provide more comfort and separation between you and your neighbor.”

Related: Your ultimate guide to Amtrak Guest Rewards

New Amtrak Acela Interiors

As TPG reported earlier this year, Amtrak has been testing the new high-speed train cars with service tentatively set for sometime in 2021. Amtrak has not yet set a date for the debut.

Related: Amtrak plans to expand new nonstop Acela service from New York

The new interiors feature a ton of sanitary improvements — key in the age of coronavirus — including touch-less bathrooms, more space between customers, and no touch overhead bins. Amtrak has also instituted enhanced cleaning procedures and mandated masks.

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New Amtrak Acela Trains in the works for some time

High-speed Amtrak locomotive at Alsom factory in Hornell, NY. (Image courtesy Amtrak)

Official plans for the new cars were announced more than four years ago.

Related: Planes, trains and a bus: We raced from NYC to DC to find which was fastest

Amtrak has lagged behind Asian and European high-speed trains systems. These new cars should help fill the gap. The new upgraded Acela Express will be able to reach speeds of up to 160 miles an hour and use at least 20% less energy. Engineers hope the cars will eventually reach up to 186 miles per hour, but that will require major infrastructure improvements in the Northeast Corridor.

Building Amtrak's new Acela trains

Alstom's new Amtrak Acela trains. (Image courtesy Amtrak)

Alstom is the French company that's building the new cars, and they are also behind the high-speed TGV trains that race around France. The cars are made in America, and are being built at the Alstom manufacturing facility in Hornell, New York.

The new train cars will hold 378 passengers — hopefully making the trains less crowded. Current capacity is 304.

The trains will also feature a significantly improved hard product, including upgraded amenities. Be sure to check out TPG’s review of the enhanced interiors.

Amtrak's Acela service between Boston and Washington via New York began service way back in December of 2000.

Related: Acela business class review

Related: Acela first class review

Featured image by Amtrak new Acela locomotive. (Image courtesy Amtrak)