French firm Al­stom lands big US deal for high-speed trains

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

US rail op­er­a­tor Am­trak has awarded a US$2 bil­lion deal to French man­u­fac­turer Al­stom to sup­ply new trains for its key Acela ser­vice be­tween Wash­ing­ton, New York and Bos­ton.

The land­mark deal for 28 new pas­sen­ger trains will boost Am­trak’s speed and ca­pac­ity along its most heav­ily used and prof­itable route, with more than 3.5 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year, from 2021.

The trains will carry more than 400 pas­sen­gers, about one-third more than the ex­ist­ing Acela north­east­ern cor­ri­dor ex­press ser­vice, with a max­i­mum speed of 300 kilo­me­tres (180 miles) per hour, though nor­mal speeds will hover near 260 kph.

In the deal, Al­stom, which makes France’s famed TGV trains, agreed to man­u­fac­ture most of the new equip­ment for Am­trak at its plant in Hor­nell, New York.

The new trains, which will also serve Bal­ti­more, Phil­a­del­phia and other key cities on the 730km (453mile) route, will be able to run faster than cur­rent trains in part due to the use of Al­stom’s Til­tronix sys­tem al­low­ing the trains to lean more deeply into curves, avoid­ing sharp slow­downs.

Am­trak and Al­stom said pro­to­types for the new trains will be ready in 2019, and enter com­mer­cial ser­vice two years later.

Photo: AFP

Jerome Wal­lut (sec­ond left), pres­i­dent of Al­stom Trans­porta­tion Inc, poses with a scale model af­ter an event to un­veil a new high-speed train at Am­trak’s Joseph R. Bi­den, Jr Sta­tion in Wilm­ing­ton, Del­a­ware, on Au­gust 26.

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