The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has approved the permit application submitted by Amtrak for the one-time movement of its high-speed trains to Colorado.
The high-speed train will be transferred to the test track located in Colorado from the Hornell Alstom production facility.
US Senator Charles Schumer said: “The FRA approving Amtrak’s request to move its Next Generation High-Speed Train to its Colorado test track is a critical step in getting these state-of-the-art trains on the tracks and in improving reliability, service, safety and capacity for all those who travel the critical Northeast Corridor.
The test track at the facility in Hornell saw a recent upgrade. However, the move to the Colorado track will allow the testing of the high-speed trains on a longer track.
Schumer added: “These new trains, once fully-produced, will be a true win-win that will improve rail service and further establish Alstom as a premier transit.”
In 2016, Alstom secured a $2bn contract from Amtrak to design and build 28 new high-speed trains.
Amtrak will deploy the new trains on the US Northeast Corridor (NEC) between Boston and Washington DC.
Compared with the existing Acela trains, the new rail vehicles can carry up to 33% more passengers.
Since the Acela trains started service in 2000, over 52.5 million people have travelled on the 20 train sets.
In 2015, Schumer urged USDOT to approve Amtrak’s efforts to purchase new next-generation high-speed trains.
USDOT provided waivers and funding via its railroad rehabilitation and improvement financing (RRIF) programme.