High-speed rail across America is not far from a reality as key projects across the country have started gaining momentum as it looks to improve its transport infrastructure.
There are now several projects in different states all aimed at getting their networks equipped for high speed trains and have trains running up to 220 miles per hour.
Recently, the Avelia Liberty tilting train entered testing, and will be running through the Northeastern corridor – A key line that runs from Boston to Washington D.C which is run by Amtrak. The Avelia Liberty is part of a new generation of trains and is close relatives of the TGV-M, its European equivalent which was unveiled in France in 2022.
The Avelia Liberty, much like the TGV-M has pivoted away from super-speed to concentrate on capacity and improving its energy output. On top of that, the Avelia Liberty will adopt tilting technology, rather like modern pendolinos.
This technology hasn’t been without issues. Currently, the trains are delayed and won’t be ready to run until later in 2024, after initially planning to enter service in late 2022. This is because testing and implementation on America’s aging infrastructure and tracks has meant Alstom who are building the trains have encountered several issues. In a statement at the end of the month to the Washington Post, Alstom said: “The modelling of the wheel to track interface is particularly complex due to age, condition, and specific characteristics of Amtrak infrastructure on the Northeast corridor, and especially the existing tracks,”.
But the technology for high-speed trains and the ambitions of a high speed train network across the US do not end with the development of just the trains.
In North America, less than 5% of rail routes are electrified however new routes and high-speed lines in other areas of the country are happening.
California’s Brightline West the sister company to Brightline East which also runs Miami’s rail network
recently broke ground on its huge 218-mile high-speed line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The new track will offer the opportunity for 200mph trains to run, offering opportunities to cut travel from the two cities to just over an hour.
Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings said in a statement: “As the most shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the United States, we are one step closer to leveling the playing field against transit
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