HORNELL, NY (WETM) — After undergoing high-speed performance testing in Pueblo, Colorado, the prototype of a new high-speed rail car is back in Hornell.

The Acela cars are back home for their final retrofitting before being sent to Amtrak.

“I’m thrilled and excited to see the very first high speed Acela train back in the Maple City. By all accounts, the train performed extremely well during testing. This is a testament to the great work of the Alstom workforce and is something for the Hornell community to be proud of,” said Hornell Mayor John Buckley.

The trainset made about 2,500 laps of the test track at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. in Pueblo, Colorado, equaling about 35,400 miles (more than 56,970 km) and attained a top speed there of 167 mph (more than 268 kph).


Alstom will produce 28 new acela train sets as a part of a $2 billion contract awarded five years ago.

The new trains will accommodate nearly 25 percent more customers while continuing the spacious, high-end comfort of the current Acela service that our customers enjoy today. The new Acela fleet utilizes 5th generation technology, the highest generation of train technology currently in operation, including active tilting, allowing the new Acela to operate at higher speeds through curves while maintaining passenger comfort and ride quality; articulated trainset architecture, which positions the wheels under each train car to improve the customers experience by providing flat, even transitions while walking between cars; regenerative braking that puts power back into catenary and aerodynamic improvements to improve energy efficiency. These trainsets are designed to use 40% less energy per passenger and to reduce energy consumption by at least 20% due to the new design and lighter overall weight versus the existing fleet.

The Amtrak partnership with Alstom to produce the next generation of Acela trains is boosting
area businesses and will move customers at higher speeds and more comfort between Boston
and Washington. This Friday morning at Chicago Union Station, local news media and
workers from a 100-year-old company with two facilities in Illinois will see the high-speed train
as it stops here en route from Colorado back to the Northeast in time to celebrate Amtrak’s 50th
Anniversary this weekend. Other official #Amtrak50 events are scheduled on the East Coast.