Amtrak provides first look at new Acela interiors

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Vice President of Amtrak Northeast Corridor Service Line Caroline Decker shows off a mock-up of the interior of a new Acela first-class car, featuring wider seats, larger headrests, in-seat lights, LED information screens and large rectangular windows. Personal power outlets and USB ports are located under the center armrests. The door behind her is one that will lead to the power car.
Ralph Spielman
Fully ADA compliant, the snack car in the next-generation Acela Express  has no seating, but provides spaces for stand-up meals and beverages. The conductor’s office and servicing area are behind the LED-equipped partition toward the middle of the car.
Ralph Spielman
A close-up of Business Class seats shows the new interior color scheme, large headrests, and in-seat lighting that are features of the next-generation Acela, as well as an example of available seating at tables.
Ralph Spielman

NEW CASTLE, Del. — Amtrak has provided a first look at the interior of its next-generation Acela high speed trains, displaying interior mock-ups at a press event Tuesday at an Alstom facility.

The new exterior design of the new equipment [see “A first look at the next-generation Acelas,” Trains News Wire, June 13, 2019, and “New Acela Rising,” September 2019 Trains] is accompanied by interiors for first class, business class, and snack cars unlike anything in the current Amtrak fleet.

In both classes, leather seats with footrests will have adjustable in-seat lighting, more comfortable headrests, personal electrical outlets, USB ports, and integrated handles in the seat backs to make walking through the train easier during travel on the 457-mile long Northeast Corridor, laced with curves and switches. Seats will be fixed, with half facing forward and half facing to the rear. Passengers will be able to select specific seats via an advance reservation system.

Tray tables will offer either a large or small space for use; vertical shades will replace curtains on car windows. All restrooms will be ADA compliant and include changing tables. Snack cars will also be ADA complaint, eliminating fixed seating. Those cars will also feature more self-service products. The snack car will also feature a conductor’s office providing crew access to an on-board closed-circuit TV system. Information including location, train speed, and other announcements will be displayed on six LED screens in each car.

“The next generation of Acela trains will set a new standard for rail service in the U.S. ,” said Vice President of Amtrak Northeast Corridor Service Line Caroline Decker.

A mock-up of the engine cab shows fewer changes than in the passenger areas.

Alstom is building 28 of the nine-car, 378-seat trainsets. Amtrak says the “New Acela Express” is expected to enter service beginning in 2021.

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