Amtrak’s Grounded Acela Returns to Service on N.E. Corridor

WASHINGTON – The first Acela Express trains returned to service July 11 with four daily departures from New York and Washington, marking an end to a roughly three-month service disruption, Amtrak announced.

Throughout July, Amtrak announced weekday Acela Express service between New York and Washington beginning Monday, as well as weekend service starting July 16 on the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak suspended the trains’ operations after the discovery of cracks on the spokes of brake discs on April 15.

The first trains to return operated Monday-Friday with two morning and two afternoon departures from New York and Washington, and served all regular Acela destinations.

To maintain schedule predictability during the transition period, the trainsets will begin to replace the Metroliners Amtrak put in temporary service. Customers are advised to check for more news about additional service, including service between New York and Boston.

Acela Express is enormously popular with our passengers, and we’re very glad to begin rolling these trains back into service this week,” said Amtrak Senior Vice President Bill Crosbie. “Ninety-five percent of our Northeast Corridor passengers stayed with Amtrak while Acela was out of service. We appreciate that loyalty and are pleased to return Acela Express to service.”

Since April 15, when the Acela went out of service, the trains’ manufacturer produced an all-new design of the disc. A casting and assembly process was begun and the parts were successfully tested and the inventory of parts is now at the stage that can support train operations.

The new discs will continue to be inspected as a regular part of the trains’ maintenance cycle.

Published in the August 2005 edition of The Cross-Tie.