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Amtrak has released a request for proposals for up to 28 next-generation high-speed trainsets capable of meeting or exceeding current Acela Express trip times on the Northeast Corridor, the railroad's officials announced yesterday.Amtrak is moving to acquire the trainsets to supplement and eventually replace its aging Acela Express equipment. Current manufacturers of high-speed rail equipment, defined as manufacturers with equipment in commercial operation at speeds of at least 160 mph, will be eligible to submit bids, Amtrak officials said in a press release.Acela ridership has been on the rise, increasing 7 percent over the past year, with trains often sold out during peak travel times. On 25 occasions during fiscal-year 2014, the number of daily trips on Acela topped 14,000 compared with five times in FY2013, indicating the value riders place on access to high-speed rail, Amtrak officials said."The Northeast Corridor needs more high-speed rail capacity to help move the American economy forward," said Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boardman. "More and more people are choosing Amtrak for travel between Washington, New York and Boston. New equipment means more seats and more frequent departures to help meet that growing demand."
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