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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / First shell for Avelia Liberty power car is completed NEWSWIRE

First shell for Avelia Liberty power car is completed NEWSWIRE

By Ralph Spielman | September 14, 2018

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An artist’s conception of the Avelia Liberty trainset.
Merrill Technologies and Alstom personnel pose with the first completed Avelia Liberty power car shell.
Pete Hudeck, Merrill Technologies

NEW YORK — The Avelia Liberty, the next-generation high speed trainset for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service, reached a construction milestone this week, as the first body shell for a Avelia power car was completed.

Alstom and Michigan-based Merrill Technologies Group announced the milestone on Thursday. There will be 56 power cars for the 28 Avelia Liberty trainsets. Originally ordered in 2016, consists will include two compact power cars and nine passenger cars, seating 386 passengers, with three cars more that can be added if demand warrants. It will be capable of speeds up to 185 mph, although Amtrak’s current maximum speed on the corridor is 160 mph. All 28 trainsets are expected to be in service by 2022; at that time, the possibility will exist for New York-Washingon service every half-hour and New York-Boston service every hour.

The body shells from Merrill are made from 100-percent U.S. steel, painted in Amtrak blue and white colors. The company’s Alma, Mich., facility employs more than 170 workers for the project.

The first shell is expected to arrive sometime in the next few weeks at Alstom’s Hornell, N.Y., facility for completion. The modernized 1860-era facility in Hornell, formerly the Erie Railroad’s main shop, has manufactured more than 2,000 new rail cars, and refurbished an additional 5,000 under Alstom’s ownership.

The complete trainsets will be 95-percent U.S. made and create 1,000 direct and 300 indirect jobs. 

“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.,” Jérôme Wallut, Senior Vice-President of Alstom in North America, said in a press release.

10 thoughts on “First shell for Avelia Liberty power car is completed NEWSWIRE

  1. Hey,the guts may be (nearly) all American but the body is gonna be…queue Tim Allen voice-over,”Pure Michigan!”

  2. Mr. Salters, an appropriate analogy for Amtrak.

    On another note, I wonder what the original workers of this 1860 Erie RR facility would think of trains being built in their workplace that were capable of traveling 185 miles per hour.

  3. It isn’t a bullet train but it is moving in the right direction. I would also be interested in what ROW modifications and upgrades are required for this train to meet its potential. To me that’s the big issue.

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis for an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Go find your own damn lawyer.

  4. John Rice: I’m tired of hearing about PTC. I find it very unnerving that when the railroads converted all of their electro-magnetic signal controls to solid state that they did NOT have the foresight to include some sort of PTC in their systems at that time, at least for “future use.” In fact the Nickel Plate Railroad as well as other railroads had a very basic PTC of sorts built into their 1940’s electro-magnetic systems, with a magnetic device along side the track at every signal that would set the train brakes if a red signal was ignored. That system was removed when the Norfolk-Southern took over the NKP, as was the case on the other railroads. Sad that the railroads were allowed to remove a safety system such as that. Had they retained the system in solid state form during their conversion period, they wouldn’t be having the current problem of meeting a looming deadline. With today’s modern solid state locomotive controls, it would probably been a simple matter to include the PTC into the locomotive controls as well. Perhaps it was a case of the Railroads waiting for the Government to pick up the tab.

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