More Amtrak High-Speed Train Delays

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From Watts Up With That?

Amtrak’s new high-speed trains have been delayed again because the tracks they’re supposed to run on are too old and busted

The eagerly awaited debut of Amtrak’s new high-speed trains has once again been pushed back, marking the third consecutive year of delays. According to Amtrak, these setbacks are attributed to difficulties in meeting federal safety standards on the outdated Northeast Corridor tracks. While Amtrak and its train manufacturer, Alstom, assure the public that the trains themselves are not to blame, skeptics of government projects aimed at achieving greener modes of transportation remain unconvinced.

Amtrak’s slow progress in introducing their next-generation Acela trains has left passengers frustrated. Initially scheduled for a Spring 2021 launch, the debut has been postponed once again, this time to 2024, due to complications in passing federal safety benchmarks.

Amtrak’s spokesperson acknowledged the desire to introduce the new trainsets promptly, but emphasized that safety requirements must be met before they can be put into passenger service. Alstom, the manufacturer, points to the aging and specific characteristics of the Amtrak infrastructure, particularly the tracks, as the primary challenge. According to an Alstom spokesperson,

The modeling of the wheel to track interface is particularly complex due to age, condition, and specific characteristics of Amtrak infrastructure on the Northeast corridor, and especially the existing tracks.

This admission raises concerns among skeptics about the viability of implementing new technologies on outdated infrastructure.

The trainsets were previously delayed by the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 and again in 2022.

The introduction of the new Acela trainsets faces a significant hurdle in meeting the Federal Railroad Administration’s Tier III regulations, which impose stringent safety standards for high-speed trains. Alstom explains that extensive investigations and testing activities are being conducted to ensure compliance with these regulations. While safety is paramount, skeptics question whether the lengthy process of meeting these standards could have been better anticipated and managed.

Amtrak’s three-year delay in commencing service with the new Acela trains underscores a fundamental challenge facing the United States in adopting higher-speed rail systems. The nation struggles to integrate next-generation transportation within dated infrastructure systems. The Northeast Corridor, particularly between Boston and Washington, is known for its rundown tracks, with some sections dating back 150 years. This lack of modernization and infrastructure upgrades has been a subject of concern for railroad officials and politicians aiming to improve services in this densely populated region.

Amtrak’s ongoing delays in launching their high-speed trains have garnered skepticism from those wary of government projects aimed at achieving greener transportation.

The outdated infrastructure has raised questions about the efficiency and efficacy of such endeavors.

To read the article originally from MSN via Business Insider, click here.