zpravodajství životního prostředí již od roku 1999

I ve Spojených státech mají své TGV

Urbánní ekologie
I ve Spojených státech mají své TGV

Acela Express křižující východní pobřeží Spojených států je vzdáleným příbuzným francouzských rychlovlaků TGV.

Amtrak announced the award of the competitive contract on 15 March 1996. A consortium led by the Canadian firm Bombardier won with its design, a high speed tilt train given the marketing name "American Flyer". Bombardier, which holds exclusive rights to TGV technology in North America, was joined by Alstom, maker of the French TGV. The American Flyer was chosen over two other tilt train entries from competing bidders.

The first of these competitors was the American ICE , proposed by a consortium headed by Siemens, maker of the German ICE. Siemens demonstrated the German version of the ICE in Metroliner service on the NEC in 1993, and then on a nationwide tour of the United States.

The second competitor was the X2000, proposed by ABB, maker of the Swedish X2000. Like the German ICE, a Swedish version of the X2000 trainset was shipped to the United States and demonstrated on the NEC in 1993.

In making its final, long-awaited choice, Amtrak was able to play off the three bidders against each other in order to get the best train for the least amount of money. Amtrak freely admitted that Bombardier's attractive financing package swayed the decision more than the relative technical merit of the American Flyer. Bombardier's experience with North American railcar construction was also a factor. This explains why the X2000, which had been a popular favorite after appearing on U.S. soil, was dropped from consideration when ABB raised its price excessively.

The Acela Express was largely built on U.S. soil, as stipulated in the Amtrak contract. Bombardier's plants in Barre, Vermont and Plattsburgh, New York, performed much of the manufacturing. Alstom also furnished some components made in France.

Amtrak unveiled the Acela brand on March 9, 1999. The name, conceived by the New York branding firm IDEO, is intended to reflect a combination of acceleration and excellence. The first Acela Express entered testing at the Pueblo, Colorado Transportation Test Center in mid 1999. The second, meanwhile, was in testing on the NEC. The trains were supposed to enter service in late 1999 and be phased in over the following year, but additional technical problems, first with excessive wheel wear and later with defective bolts and other assorted issues pushed back initial service to December 2000. The Acela Express cuts the Boston - New York run to 3:23 (from 4 to 5 hours), and the New York to Washington run (the territory of Amtrak's 125 mph Metroliners until the introduction of Acela) to 2:45 from three hours. Amtrak expects this to attract many customers who currently use airline shuttles or drive.

The Acela Express Trainset

The extent of the TGV heritage in the new trainsets is limited to traction components and truck (bogie) technology. As such, the Acela Express is only distantly related to the French TGV. The Acela trainsets were built entirely using existing and proven technologies. The challenge was to adapt these technologies to Federal Railroad Administration regulations in general, and the Northeast Corridor environment in particular.

Basic Facts

Build Dates: 1998-2001
Territory: Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Washington, DC - Boston, MA
Max. speed: 150 mph (240 km/h)
Supply Voltages: 25kV 60Hz AC, 12kV 60Hz AC, 12kV 25Hz AC.
Traction:8 3-phase AC asynchronous motors, total power 9200 kW (12300 hp)
Length and Weight: 663 ft (202 m) / 624 tons (566 tonnes)
Configuration: 1 power car + 6 cars + 1 power car, 304 seats (260 Business, 44 First)
Performance Metrics: 16.3 kW/tonne / 1.9 tonnes/seat / 30.3 kW/seat

More facts and figures

Trainset starting tractive effort: 225 kN (50000 lbs)
Maximum rated speed: 265 km/h (165 mph)
Minimum curve radius:: 76 m (250')
Power / Weight: 16.3 kW/tonne (compare to TGV Duplex, 23 kW/tonne)
Power / Seat: 30.3 kW/seat (compare to TGV Duplex, 16.2 kW/seat)
Weight / Seat: 1.9 tonne/seat (compare to TGV Duplex, 0.7 tonne/seat)
Power car length: 21.22 m (69' 7")
Power car width: 3.18 m (10' 5")
Power car wheel diameter: 1.02 m (40")
Power car weight: 92700 kg (204000 lbs)
Passenger car length: 26.65 m (87' 5")
Passenger car width: 3.16 m (10' 4")
Passenger car wheel diameter: 0.91 m (36")
Maximum passenger car tilt: 6.5 degrees
Intermediate Business car weight: 63100 kg (139000 lbs)
End car (Business and First) weight: 64600 kg (142000 lbs)
Bistro car weight: 62100 kg (137000 lbs)

Configuration. Each trainset is made up of 6 cars with a power car at each end, for a total of 8 semi-permanently coupled vehicles. There are four Business Class cars, a Cafe car, and a First Class car. The trainset is designed to operate at up to 150 mph.

Washington International Airport Station

ZDROJ: www.trainweb.org, railway-technology.com

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