US rail operator Amtrak on Friday awarded a $2.0 billion (1.8 billion euros) contract to French manufacturer Alstom to supply new high-speed trains for its key Acela service between Washington, New York and Boston.
The landmark deal for 28 new passenger trains will boost Amtrak's speed and capacity along its most heavily used and profitable route, with more than 3.5 million passengers a year, from 2021.
The trains will carry more than 400 passengers, about one-third more than the existing Acela northeastern corridor express service, with a maximum speed of 300 kilometres per hour (180 miles per hour), though normal speeds will hover near 260 kilometres an hour. Amtrak’s current high-speed trains can reach a top speed of 241 kilometres per hour, according to the company’s website.
In the deal Alstom, which makes France's famed TGV trains, agreed to manufacture most of the new equipment for Amtrak, dubbed its Avelia Liberty line, at its plant in Hornell, New York.
The new trains, whi
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