Alstom and Merrill Technologies Group announced that the first power car bodyshell for the future Avelia Liberty trainsets for Amtrak has been completed. The new train will serve as the new Acela Express fleet which operates on Amtrak Northeast Corridor.
“We proudly celebrate this project milestone, not only with respect to supplying Amtrak with new trainsets, but also the emergence of a high-speed rail manufacturing industry here in the U.S.,” said Jérôme Wallut, Senior Vice-President of Alstom in North America.
The power car bodyshells are made from 100% U.S. steel and have been specifically painted to reflect the Amtrak blue and white colors. Approximately 175 workers at Merrill’s Alma, Michigan, facility are working on the manufacturing of the 56 bodyshells for Alstom.
The new trainset will be able to carry nearly 30% more passengers than the current Acela trains. The trainset configuration includes two innovative compact power cars and nine passenger vehicles, with the possibility of three more being added if demand grows. The train can travel at speeds up to 300 km/h. Each concentrated power car is equipped with Alstom’s pioneering Crash Energy Management system.
The first bodyshell will arrive at Alstom’s passenger rolling stock center of excellence in Hornell, New York, in the coming weeks, where Alstom will complete the manufacturing of the power cars.
Alstom and Amtrak signed in 2016 a contract for the supply of 28 Avelia Liberty trainsets which will be 95% made in America. Alstom has the highest level of Buy America content among rail companies doing business in the U.S., working with over 500 U.S. suppliers.