US-based passenger railroad service Amtrak has announced increasing the speed of Acela trains on an upgraded section of the Northeast Corridor (NEC) in New Jersey (NJ).
The move will enable Acela trains to run at a speed of up to 150mph along a 16-mile track segment between New Brunswick and South Brunswick.
In a statement, Amtrak said that the infrastructure upgrades form a part of the New Jersey High-Speed Rail Improvement Program that seeks to reduce journey times and improve services.
Several such speed upgrades are anticipated along the NEC.
The scope of works on the upgraded section included installation of new signal power cables and high-speed turnouts; establishing new catenary supports and modernising power substations.
Amtrak president and CEO Stephen Gardner said: “The upgrades coming from the New Jersey High-Speed Rail Improvement Program exemplify our continual commitment to upgrade the Northeast Corridor and transform the customer experience as we welcome more passengers back on board.
“Thanks to the hard work by Amtrak’s Infrastructure Maintenance & Construction Services Team and our DOT and commuter partners, our customers will experience more reliable and faster trains and better on-time performance on this busy section of the NEC.”
Currently, an additional 8-mile stretch between South Brunswick and Trenton, NJ is being upgraded with new catenary. The completion of the project and subsequent speed increases expected in 2024.
Acela offers high-speed services along the NEC between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and other intermediate cities.
The facilities on the train include free Wi-Fi, large spacious seats, and the ability to travel with small pets.
Earlier this month, Amtrak allocated $130m for rail improvement projects between Washington DC and New York.