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What happened to Acela?


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#1 benjibear

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:03 PM

I have been traveling a lot between PA and NYP for doctors appointments (cancer re-occurrence).  Last week we missed our train to and had to get another train.  The next train was a connection with Acela, which was a lot more, but we needed to get there.

 

First, the connection between the two trains is only around 10 minutes.  If we didn't get a good red cap to help us, I am sure we would of missed our connection.  It just seams a little tight.

 

Second, we get on the train and it is full.  My wife asks, "what kind of cheap commuter train did you get us on?"  She was shocked when I told her this was Amtrak's premium service and we had to pay so much more.

 

I have to admit, other than the speed, I don't see much advantages of Acela over the Keystone that we normally take. 

 

The train did seam very dirty and it didn't seem like new dirt either.  The cafe car had scuff marks all over the walls, the floors seamed very dirty, and just wasn't nice at all.

 

Also, my wife commented that the seats suck and the normal train we take is much better.  I told her that you are in business class, and that is above our normal coach class.

 

 



#2 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:22 PM

I love the Keystone. I've only been on the Acela once (a short trip on the Gathering, just to try it), but I like the Keystone much better.

 

The Acela has that cold, corporate, airline-type feeling to it.

 

The Keystone feels like sitting in your living room, only with lovely scenery (well, ok, not from Philly to NY, but the beautiful farms around Harrisburg and the nice Philly skyline--I always see if I can spot William Penn's statue between the taller buildings).

 

The Keystone just feels nice.

 

Let the other half think they are living in luxury. Especially while you are working on getting better, take the wonderful little Keystone and have a relaxing ride! :)



#3 keelhauled

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:29 PM

Acela has armrests. Amfleets do not. Therefore Acela is superior to Keystones/Regionals.

We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#4 PVD

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:25 PM

Only if you think armrests are meaningful. For the price difference and the minimal time savings, I'd take a reupholstered AM-1 on a regional or Keystone between NYP and PHL any day. 



#5 keelhauled

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:35 PM

I agree, and I normally do travel on the Regional. I think that the Acela has a better on board experience, it's just not usually enough to be worth the upcharge.
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We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#6 PVD

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:00 PM

Usually, when I connect to the CL in Washington, I use a NER in coach, the extra money for the BC car or Acela, just doesn't do anything for me....



#7 Acela150

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 07:28 PM

Keep in mind that the Acela sets are almost 20 years old and have only undergone one major overhaul. And I don't know if they changed the carpets out. That overhaul finished earlier then planned. It finished around 2010 or 2011. I can't remember exactly, please forgive me on that. I rode 2173 Tuesday and the seats were starting to show some decent wear and tear on the arm rests. For me since I'm normally traveling all the way to Boston depending on the time I need to be in Boston, that will decide which train I take. Unless the cost is seriously outrageous. Which usually applies to the trains leaving PHL after 1pm. 

 

Keep in mind that the First Acela trainset is due early next year. And that is for testing at TTCI and I would imagine they'll send it to the NEC afterwards or have one here on the NEC as well. The new trainsets will be a major upgrade to what we have now. Just be patient. 


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#8 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 08:01 PM

I've never ridden on the Acela, but I would like to someday, just to say that I did it.  Preferably after the new trainsets are put into service.


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#9 Skyline

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 10:27 AM

Oh my, am I getting OLD?   I recall having the same thoughts about wanting to ride the "super-premium" Metroliner the first time!

 

I mean...you could make a phone call from on board the train! And oh so fast!


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#10 cpotisch

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 12:49 PM

Keep in mind that the Acela sets are almost 20 years old and have only undergone one major overhaul. And I don't know if they changed the carpets out. That overhaul finished earlier then planned. It finished around 2010 or 2011. I can't remember exactly, please forgive me on that. I rode 2173 Tuesday and the seats were starting to show some decent wear and tear on the arm rests. For me since I'm normally traveling all the way to Boston depending on the time I need to be in Boston, that will decide which train I take. Unless the cost is seriously outrageous. Which usually applies to the trains leaving PHL after 1pm. 

 

Keep in mind that the First Acela trainset is due early next year. And that is for testing at TTCI and I would imagine they'll send it to the NEC afterwards or have one here on the NEC as well. The new trainsets will be a major upgrade to what we have now. Just be patient. 

 

I would mention that the Amfleet Is are more than 20 years older. I've taken Acela once (BOS-NYP) in "Business" and really liked it. The cars felt modern. comfortable, and quiet, and the train just generally felt like a step up from the NER. That said, it only reaches its 150 mph for a very small portion of the route, and its incrementally faster schedule than the NER really only stems from the fact that it stops at fewer stations. Hopefully Avelia Liberty will allow for much higher speeds and faster schedules.


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#11 jis

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 12:54 PM

Avelia Liberty will neither of itself enable much higher speed, nor remarkably faster schedule absent considerable amount of infrastructure improvement work. Just because they, by the virtue of their ancestry, are capable of 186mph does not mean they will ever get anywhere close to it on the NEC in the foreseeable future. Simply the track center distances prevailing toady would prevent that from happening. OTOH, it will be much easier for it to jack it up to 160-165mph for a few miles here and there. But one will never get a feel of running for extended periods of time at such speeds on the NEC for quite some time to come.


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#12 cpotisch

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 11:33 AM

Will the route be renamed Avelia Liberty, or is that just the name for the new train sets?


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#13 keelhauled

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 11:42 AM

The most recent renders have Acela branding. They would have to be completely insane to give it up, I daresay Acela has a better reputation and brand recognition than Amtrak.
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We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.


#14 cpotisch

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

Yeah, Avelia Liberty is a pretty terrible name for a route. “Hey, I just got my ‘Avelia Liberty’ ticket to Boston.” Doesn’t have much of a ring to it.
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#15 jis

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 01:02 PM

Avelia Liberty is what Alstom likes to call their product. That does not carry any implication of what branding Amtrak will use for the service that will use that product.

 

Just like the Northeast Regionals are neither branded Amfleet I nor ACS-64, the service will probably continue to be branded Acela as far as is known at present.



#16 Seaboard92

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 01:34 PM

Let's be honest though since 2000 the Northeast Regionals have had plenty of names.

Initially real train names (which I prefer), then Acela Regional, Regional, and now Northeast Regional.

There really is no reason for The word northeast as other corridors don't run as Regionals. IE Midwest Regional, California regional, northwest regional.
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#17 cpotisch

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 03:02 PM

Let's be honest though since 2000 the Northeast Regionals have had plenty of names.

Initially real train names (which I prefer), then Acela Regional, Regional, and now Northeast Regional.

There really is no reason for The word northeast as other corridors don't run as Regionals. IE Midwest Regional, California regional, northwest regional.

I think calling it ‘Northeast Regional’ sort of helps signifies that you’re referring to a route, as opposed to just regional train service as a whole. While it’s the only train with ‘regional’ in the name, I feel like cutting out ‘Northeast’ would just confuse it with regional trains in general.

The old Acela and NER naming scheme was ridiculous. Northeast Regional was called Acela Regional, the high-speed service was Acela Express, and the Clockers (unreserved NYP-PHL rush hour trains valid for NJT pax) were termed Acela Commuter. Needless to say, riders did not understand any of this nonsense, and the trains were re-renamed pretty quickly.
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#18 brianpmcdonnell17

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 05:53 PM

Let's be honest though since 2000 the Northeast Regionals have had plenty of names.

Initially real train names (which I prefer), then Acela Regional, Regional, and now Northeast Regional.

There really is no reason for The word northeast as other corridors don't run as Regionals. IE Midwest Regional, California regional, northwest regional.

I think calling it Northeast Regional sort of helps signifies that youre referring to a route, as opposed to just regional train service as a whole. While its the only train with regional in the name, I feel like cutting out Northeast would just confuse it with regional trains in general.

The old Acela and NER naming scheme was ridiculous. Northeast Regional was called Acela Regional, the high-speed service was Acela Express, and the Clockers (unreserved NYP-PHL rush hour trains valid for NJT pax) were termed Acela Commuter. Needless to say, riders did not understand any of this nonsense, and the trains were re-renamed pretty quickly.
Interestingly, according to the federal government, Delaware, Maryland, DC, and Virginia are all in the South, meaning much of the Northeast Regional's route is as well. For example, Northeast Regional #145 from New York to Roanoke operates only 24% of it's route in the federally defined northeast with the other 76% running in the South. Having said that, most people consider at least Delaware and Maryland northern, if not DC and Northern Virginia. I think it is important to have some geographical term in front of the word "Regional" as to differentiate it from other corridor trains, even though they are not given that title. However, it is still strange that someone travelling from Norfolk to Richmond rides on a Northeast Regional.
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#19 Acela150

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 06:49 PM

Let's be honest though since 2000 the Northeast Regionals have had plenty of names.

Initially real train names (which I prefer), then Acela Regional, Regional, and now Northeast Regional.

There really is no reason for The word northeast as other corridors don't run as Regionals. IE Midwest Regional, California regional, northwest regional.

 

While I agree with you about trains having names e.g. The Mayflower, The Bankers, etc. The traveling public doesn't understand that. Railfans, yeah sure we get it. But to someone who doesn't understand train travel that would be confusing to them. So a standard name is appropriate. But Amtrak went awry during the Warrington Era with the Acela Branding. Acela Regional and I think the other was Acela Commuter was just way to confusing. Cause let's be honest, calling every train Acela the traveling public would lead most to assume they are riding Acela equipment. 


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#20 Thirdrail7

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Posted 07 April 2018 - 08:07 PM

Don't forget the Acela has purty curtains to go with the footrests and armrests. That being said, I agree with Benjibear's wife. I find the regular seats more comfortable. The original seats on the Acela, were really bad. I'm thinking of that sliding pillow/headrest.

 

They are also used much more these days. The sets used to have a large part of the weekend off for maintenance. That is no longer the case. The Acela sets are undergoing one last overhaul. You were probably on one that hasn't been completed.


Edited by Thirdrail7, 07 April 2018 - 08:07 PM.

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