More and more governments are going green and updating their infrastructure to be more environmentally friendly. One area that’s specifically getting a lot of attention in terms of sustainability is public transportation. In the U.S., the latest entity to make serious moves on the sustainability front is Amtrak and its line that runs from Boston to Washington D.C.
Amtrak has announced a new fleet called the Acela Express Fleet. It’s scheduled to launch in 2021 and will consist of high-speed Acela trains that will haul passengers between Boston and Washington D.C. What’s most impressive about the new fleet is that it’s expected to reduce the levels of energy used by at least 20%. Much of that energy reduction is thanks to the trains being much lighter than the current models on the tracks.
The trains are also going green by using recycled letters on the seats inside the trains. Plus, the food and drink options on board will be much more sustainable than current menu options.
If traveling green isn’t enough to make more folks consider train travel between Boston and Washington D.C, Amtrak has some other improvements in place, too. The onboard Wi-Fi will be faster than the current options, and each seat on the trains will have a reading light and USB port for devices. Passengers will have increased legroom and both the storage compartments and restrooms will be larger than in the current models.
The current fleet of high-speed trains run at a top speed of 150 miles per hour. When the new Acela Express Fleet takes to the rails in 2021, that top speed will increase to 160 miles per hour. In addition, the capacity for the new trains will go from the current 304 maximum to 386. That’s more than a 25% increase!
For now, Amtrak’s ‘Northeast Corridor’ is the only high-speed route the company maintains. However, new routes are currently planned for Florida, Texas, Las Vegas, and Southern California. That means the folks in those parts of the country will be able to get to work faster and feel better about doing it on a more sustainable train.