• Acela II (Avelia Liberty): Design, Production, Delivery, Acceptance

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The Washington Post reports on a significant, and potentially serious, delay to inaugurating the Acela II trains.

Fair Use:
0Amtrak’s new Acela train cars need an extra round of testing to ensure they can safely operate in the curvy and aging tracks of the Northeast Corridor, railroad officials said, confirming a year-long delay in the delivery of the new trains.

A prototype train that began tests on the route between Washington and Boston last year was incompatible with the corridor’s track and its catenary system — the overhead wires that supply the train with electricity. The train had to be modified to work harmoniously with the infrastructure, according to Amtrak officials.

The first two of 28 Avelia Liberty high-speed train sets from the French manufacturer Alstom had been expected to enter service this spring. Amtrak now projects a spring 2022 debut, citing not only the train reconfiguration, but also delays caused by production and training interruptions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Looks like it's a "wait 'ill next year" situation.

Somehow, with the continued depression in business travel (even if some airlines are reporting a pickup), I don't think Amtrak is "missing 'em" all that much.

Just one more tale of how equipment makers "can't get it right" - or at least if their customer is Amtrak!!!
  by CraigDK
 
During testing they identified an issue and corrected it, that along with coronavirus delays and some other minor issues in getting production up an running, they won't meet the original planned in service date. Nothing that unusual, yet you get a statement saying that the new Acela is incompatible.

Just more garbage reporting....
  by F40CFan
 
electricron wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:51 am Does anything Amtrak orders work as advertised? :(
Amfleet, but that was from Budd. No one left that produces equipment with the same quality.
  by Matt Johnson
 
All the more reason to hold onto equipment once it's working well? Hate to see those 100 stainless steel Acela coaches thrown away after only 20 years, but then as 20 integrated 6 car sets it's hard to adapt them for other uses.
  by photobug56
 
I do admit to being very puzzled. All this testing on the NE corridor with one of the 2 test trains, not a single hint of problems during the testing. One would think that if problems were found, that adjustments, fixes would have been made even if the set had to go to a yard or the factory for a month, then resume testing, but we never heard of that happening.

In the meantime, more and more I think the existing fleet should get some degree of renovation and life extension.
  by CraigDK
 
photobug56 wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:17 pm I do admit to being very puzzled. All this testing on the NE corridor with one of the 2 test trains, not a single hint of problems during the testing. One would think that if problems were found, that adjustments, fixes would have been made even if the set had to go to a yard or the factory for a month, then resume testing, but we never heard of that happening.
Despite it's sensational hype, even the article points out that the issue was found. The issue has been addressed. That is the point of testing in the first place.
Larry Biess, who oversees the rollout of the new Acela trains at Amtrak, said Alstom modified the train’s design to address the compatibility problems identified during testing.
Of course that will add sometime to the process, but this is nothing unusual in a large project. It just means that the existing fleet will become razor blades a couple of months later than anticipated.
  by Arlington
 
This is a small delay and I can’t see how it affects Acela 1 retirement much at all (two to 4 Acelas that would have been idled (but not retired) November to March will be “non idle” for 5 extra months
  by Greg Moore
 
photobug56 wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 7:17 pm I do admit to being very puzzled. All this testing on the NE corridor with one of the 2 test trains, not a single hint of problems during the testing. One would think that if problems were found, that adjustments, fixes would have been made even if the set had to go to a yard or the factory for a month, then resume testing, but we never heard of that happening.

In the meantime, more and more I think the existing fleet should get some degree of renovation and life extension.
Not sure what to be puzzled by. This IS the hint.
It's not like the data up until now has been publicly available.
And it sounds like they did find the issues and have determined how long it would to take them.
In other words, this is not a failure, this is how testing works.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
For one thing, the test track at TCCI in Pueblo is far different from the twisty, turny ROW east of New York. That said, they have not indicated where on the NEC the problems were occuring, have they?
  by Matt Johnson
 
Rockingham Racer wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:09 am For one thing, the test track at TCCI in Pueblo is far different from the twisty, turny ROW east of New York. That said, they have not indicated where on the NEC the problems were occuring, have they?
With railfans flocking to Princeton Junction with their cameras for the night time test runs, there was video documentation of the train showing excessive arcing from the pantograph and failing to make the intended speed on some of the early runs. Which is surprising, because that's the constant tension catenary stretch.
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