Rail

Amtrak suspends Acela service amid equipment problems

Posted on July 1, 2002

Amtrak temporarily suspended all Acela Express service after cracks were discovered in the equipment during routine inspection. The passenger railroad has resumed more than half of the 50 daily train departures on its high-speed route using borrowed equipment. In addition to substituting Metroliner trains to fill gaps in the express service linking cities in the northeast, the passenger railroad leased locomotives and coach cars from agencies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Amtrak initially cancelled all Acela Express runs mid-August after cracked yaw damper brackets, which prevent swaying at high speeds, were detected during a periodic maintenance inspection. If broken loose, a yaw damper could cause serious damage to the train’s underside. Amtrak is delaying a return to full service of its Acela Express service after additional hairline cracks were discovered on four high-speed Acela trains. “They are probably not new. These trains have been operating safely with these cracks,” Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black told Reuters. “But we like to feel an abundance of caution. We’re not going to run them with any cracks.” The Acela Express trains are manufactured by a consortium led by Bombardier, who is working closely with Amtrak to solve the defects. These newfound equipment defects join a host of other problems Amtrak has blamed for the high-speed service’s unreliable performance, for which Amtrak is considering making cuts to the service. Amtrak was already considering cutting back its Acela service due to reliability issues based on equipment problems. According to Amtrak, on-time performance between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C., dropped from 85% in January to 74% in July. During the same time, the number of trains cancelled or terminated en route rose from 10 to 35. David L. Gunn, Amtrak president, is said to be considering cutting Acela’s high-speed service between New York to Washington and concentrating it between Boston and New York. The rash of problems plaguing the $710 million Acela equipment include fluctuations in the train’s electrical system, a brake system freeze on one train and a variety of other problems, such as faulty valves and inadequate spare parts. In a statement, Bombardier said the trains’ problems were due to changes in the customer’s specifications for the equipment, not manufacturing problems.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Feds wants more proof of local money for Durham-Orange light rail line

Go Triangle expects its Board of Trustees to vote April 26 on a $70 million engineering contract, which would be executed only after the FTA allows the project to advance.

SEPTA trains collide, injuring 4

Crews are still working to remove the 18 cars involved, with each car weighing about 37 tons. The NTSB is on the scene and fully in charge of the investigation.

Minn. legislators attempting to move $900M from rail to roads, bridges

GOP legislators have long sought to block planning and funding for light-rail projects, saying they put metro-area priorities above rural Minnesota.

Alstom secures $105M Australian trainset contract

The contract will expand PTV’s fleet to 101 trains (606 cars) delivered from Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Ballarat since 2002.

DC Streetcar fares to remain free

The decision to hold off on charging fares was based on two reasons — District Department of Transportation feared charging even $1 per ride would scare away passengers and charging a fare would actually cost the District money.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close