Amtrak works to refresh Acela Express train interiors

Updates will provide more modern comforts for passengers; railroad to recycle leather seats into handbags, wallets
RELATED TOPICS: AMTRAK | PASSENGER | NORTHEAST | PEOPLE
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WASHINGTON — Amtrak is investing in an extensive refresh of its train interiors on the entire Acela Express fleet, which travels along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, aimed at introducing a more modern and comfortable customer experience.

“Customers expect a premium experience when they board an Acela Express train, and these updated interior features will provide a more comfortable, refreshed look and feel — whether you want to relax, move about freely, work, or play,” says Amtrak CEO and President Richard Anderson.

The Acela Express refresh is a 10-month program for all of its 20 trainsets, which includes 100 Amtrak cars and 6,080 total seats. Each trainset will be refreshed individually with new cushions and covers for all business class and first-class seats, new carpet for the aisle runner and a deep clean. The total investment is valued at more than $4 million.

The refresh will take less than a year to complete and customers can expect a progression of upgrades during that time, with this approximate delivery schedule:
• May 2018: The first trainset will be refreshed and returned into revenue service;
• June 2018: The second trainset will be refreshed and returned into revenue service
• June 2018 to March 2019: Two trainsets refreshed per month.

Amtrak schedules will not change due to the refresh. The refresh will occur in advance of the debut of the next generation Acela trainsets Amtrak announced in August 2016, which will provide 40 percent more trains, one-third more passenger seats with the same personal space and high-end comfort, more service, better amenities and a smoother ride. The first trainset prototype will be ready for testing in 2019, and will enter revenue service in early 2021. All trainsets in the current fleet will be retired in early 2022.

Materials from the existing Acela cushions and covers will be reused, recycled and turned into carpet padding, while the leather will be up-cycled and converted into handbags, wallets, and other consumer goods.

— An Amtrak news release. May 14, 2018.

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