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Rail News: Mechanical

Amtrak: New Acela trains a boost to nation's economy

LB Steel LLC in Harvey, Illinois, is building the wheel assemblies and other components that will become part of the new Acela trainsets.
Photo – Amtrak/Alstom


The Amtrak-Alstom partnership to produce the next generation of Acela trains that will operate between Boston and Washington, D.C., is contributing to the nation’s economy, Amtrak officials announced last week.

At a ceremony held at LB Steel LLC in Harvey, Illinois, Amtrak and Alstom representatives thanked the workers for building the wheel assemblies and other components that will become part of the new trains.

"While these new trains will provide world-class accommodations for customers traveling in the Northeast, this production will benefit communities across the country by creating jobs and stimulating local economies,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President Roger Harris — who led a visit to the factory south of Chicago — in a press release.

Alstom is building the 28 trainsets for Amtrak at its plant in Hornell, New York, using parts manufactured by nearly 250 suppliers in 27 states. About 95 percent of the components are produced domestically, Amtrak officials said.

More than 1,300 new jobs will be generated in nearly 90 U.S. communities to support production, including the creation of new, sustainable, high-tech, engineering and manufacturing jobs in New York, they added.

Other suppliers of components for the new Acela trainsets include ABB Power Transformers of Virginia; Bode Doors, South Carolina; Centum Adetel Transportation Solution, Wisconsin; Eaton, Michigan; Wabtec Faiveley Doors, New York; Gessman, Connecticut; Hoppecke, New Jersey; Kelox IRT USA, Pennsylvania; Knorr Brake, Maryland; Merrill Technologies, Michigan; Seisenbacher Rail Interiors Inc., New York; Thermo King, Nebraska; Transitair Systems, New York; UTC, Pennsylvania; Voith Couplers, Pennsylvania; and Wabtec Corp., South Carolina and Maryland.

The new trains, which will operate at speeds up to 160 mph, are scheduled to enter service in the Northeast Corridor in 2021. They will accommodate nearly 25 percent more riders than the current Acela service.