Acela: Speed and Style!

Written by: Gary Dolzall

America’s fastest train – the Amtrak Acela – is back for Train Simulator in an enhanced edition!

The stylish, fast, and powerful Amtrak Acela has arrived in an enhanced Train Simulator edition! When it comes to the Acela, the superlatives flow readily: It is both America’s fastest train and one of the country’s most successful. Operating over Amtrak’s electrified Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C., at speeds up to 150 mph, the Acela carries more than 3.5 million passengers a year, and, over its decade-and-a-half of regular service, has welcomed aboard more than 43 million travelers!

The name “Acela” was coined by Amtrak as a combination of the words “acceleration” and “excellence,” and the brand was applied to Amtrak’s new sleek trains as they were introduced into service in the year 2000. Developed through a consortium of Bombardier and Alstom and constructed primarily at Bombardier’s Barre (Vermont) facilities, Amtrak’s Acela fleet comprises 20 train sets, each of which include power cars on each end of a six-car consist that includes four business class coaches, a café car, and a first-class carriage. Each business class coach carries 65 passengers while the first-class car accommodates 44 travelers.

Acela’s power cars are fast (geared for and tested at speeds up to 165 mph), big (200,000 pounds), and enormously powerful, with a rating of 6,169-horsepower and a starting tractive effort of 12,375-foot-pounds. The power cars transmit their potency to the rails via three-phase, 4-pole induction asynchronous A. C. traction motors set in a four-axle (B-B) wheel arrangement. To allow the Acela to operate at speed through the Northeast Corridor’s many curves, the passenger cars (but not power cars) are equipped with 6.5-degree tilt capacity, although the tilt feature cannot be used on certain portions of the route (the primary limitation being Metro-North’s ex-New Haven trackage). Between New York City and Washington, D. C., signaling limitations on the ex-Pennsylvania corridor limit the Acela to a top speed of 135 mph.

The remarkable success of Acela, together with Amtrak’s supporting Northeast Regional trains, is perhaps no better illustrated than by the fact that Amtrak now carries more than three times as many riders between Washington, D.C., and New York City as do the airlines, and Amtrak also garners a majority share of commercial travelers between New York and Boston.

During 2016, Amtrak announced long-term plans for its next-generation of high-speed Northeast Corridor trains which will eventually replace the veteran Acela. But retirement of the Acela train sets will not occur until 2022 or later, by which time the stylish speedsters will have successfully served through more than two decades of demanding high-speed passenger service.

In an enhanced edition, which includes improved in-cab signaling features, a passenger view, and authentic tilt feature, Amtrak’s Acela has now returned for Train Simulator. And the landmark trains are ideal and authentic for service both on Train Simulator’s popular NEC: New York – New Haven route and the newly remastered edition of the classic Northeast Corridor (New York – Philadelphia) route. It’s time for some high-speed railroading, Acela-style! – Gary Dolzall

The stylish, fast, and powerful Amtrak Acela is soon arriving in an enhanced edition for Train Simulator service! At Philadelphia 30th Street Station on Train Simulator’s remastered NEC route, Acela “class unit” 2000 makes its northbound departure. All screenshots by Gary Dolzall.

The stylish, fast, and powerful Amtrak Acela has arrived in an enhanced edition for Train Simulator service! At Philadelphia 30th Street Station on Train Simulator’s remastered NEC route, Acela “class unit” 2000 makes its northbound departure. All screenshots by Gary Dolzall.

The power cars of the Acela (above) weigh 200,000 pounds, are capable of 165-mph speeds, and each generate 6,169 horsepower. With the enhanced edition of the Acela, you’ll be ready to settle into the engineer’s seat (below) and operate with the aid of realistic in-cab signaling. Note: Screenshots may depict content still in development.

The power cars of the Acela (above) weigh 200,000 pounds, are capable of 165-mph speeds, and each generate 6,169 horsepower. With the enhanced edition of the Acela, you’ll be ready to settle into the engineer’s seat (below) and operate with the aid of realistic in-cab signaling.

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Acela train sets include two power cars and six passenger carriages, including one first-class car (above) which seats 44, and four business-class coaches (below), each of which seat 65.

Acela train sets include two power cars and six passenger carriages, including one first-class car (above) which seats 44, and four business-class coaches (below), each of which seat 65.

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A café car (above) is included in each Acela train set to provide food and beverage service to travelers. Regardless of whether a passenger is traveling in business- or first-class accommodations, Acela trains feature a bright and comfortable traveling environment (below) with ample enclosed overhead luggage space.

A café car (above) is included in each Acela train set to provide food and beverage service to travelers. Regardless of whether a passenger is traveling in business- or first-class accommodations, Acela trains feature a bright and comfortable traveling environment (below) with ample enclosed overhead luggage space.

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Amtrak Acela 2016 makes a dramatic sight as departs from famed New York Penn Station (above), then minutes later – after passing under the Hudson River – streaks through Secaucus, New Jersey (below) on Train Simulator’s remastered Northeast Corridor route.

Amtrak Acela 2016 makes a dramatic sight as departs from famed New York Penn Station (above), then minutes later – after passing under the Hudson River – streaks through Secaucus, New Jersey (below) on Train Simulator’s remastered Northeast Corridor route.

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The Acela (left), together with Amtrak’s Northeast Regional services (right), carry three times more travelers between New York and Washington, D.C. than do the airlines. At dawn, a northbound Acela races through Trenton, New Jersey as a regional train pulls to a stop.

The Acela (left), together with Amtrak’s Northeast Regional services (right), carry three times more travelers between New York and Washington, D.C. than do the airlines. At dawn, a northbound Acela races through Trenton, New Jersey as a regional train pulls to a stop.

Stylish and successful. The Amtrak Acela is America’s fastest train and a true success story – and an enhanced version of the Acela is coming soon to Train Simulator!

Stylish and successful. The Amtrak Acela is America’s fastest train and a true success story – and an enhanced version of the Acela ready now for Train Simulator!

Gary Dolzall

8 Comments

  • The update is fantastic! However, on the Cab-signal display, the “Signal Speed” section is always at 80 or 88, can that be fixed at all?

    • Thanks for the note Richard, I’ve passed this over to our Development Team. Could you log this in with our Support Team please?

      • I just Logged it in! Also is their any chance their can be a Business Class End car?

  • It seems that the in-cab signalling with the Acela is very messed up with both the NEC and NY-NH

    • Thanks for the note Bob, I’ve relayed this to our Development Team to investigate. Please can you log this with our Support Team.

  • Do we need NY-Philadelphia to get the Acela Express?

    • The Acela Express includes scenarios for the New York – Philadelphia route. So you’ll need to own the route to enjoy the included scenarios. However, the Acela is also at home on other routes, such as our New York – New Haven route. You can either use the Acela via Quick Drive, create your own scenarios or download some from the Steam Workshop.

  • This, right here was what I had hoped was happening while it was pulled from Steam. This, is definitely a remastered DLC. Thank You guys for doing it some justice with the Passenger view.

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