Penn Coach Yard , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 6/9/1999
The Express has an Acela HSEL (High-Speed Electric Locomotive) rated 6250 HP at each end.
The Acela Express passenger train set consists of two power cars, a café car, a first class car, and four business class cars, semi-permanently coupled together. The train has fewer seats than regional service counterparts. The first class car has 44 seats. First class has three seats across (one on one side, two on the other side) and four seat tables. There are 260 business class seats on each trainset. The car adjacent to first class is designated as the quiet car, where passengers are asked to refrain from loud talking and mobile phone conversations. Business class cars have four seats across (two on each side) and four-seat tables.
Automatic sliding doors provide access between cars throughout the length of the train and reduce noise. Baggage may be stowed in overhead luggage compartments, or underneath the passenger's seat. Reservations guarantee seating but seats themselves are not assigned. Acela trains are also wheelchair-accessible.
The Acela Express Passenger Train sets were tested in The Philadelphia Pennsylvania area for over 1 year before being put into service. Photo © Stan Feldman 6/09/1999. Inaugural Run was 11/16/00
In August 2002, shortly after their introduction, Acela Express Passenger train sets were briefly removed from service when the brackets that connected truck (bogie) dampers (shocks) to the powerunit carbodies ("yaw dampers") were found to be cracking. The trains were returned to service when a program of frequent inspections was instituted. The damper brackets have since been redesigned and the old brackets replaced with the newer design.<be>
On April 15, 2005, Acela Express passenger trains were again removed from service when cracks were found in the disc brakes of most of the passenger coaches. The Bombardier-Alstom consortium replaced the discs under warranty. Limited service resumed in July 2005, as a portion of the fleet operated with new brake discs. Metroliner Passenger trains, which the Acela Express was intended to replace, filled in during the outage. Amtrak announced on September 21, 2005, that all 20 trainsets had been returned to full operation.
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