Acela train.

Does anyone of you Dopers been on Acela train?How does it compare to let’s say German Inter-City , French TGV or Japanese Bullet Train?
I hear Acela is preety decent and fast ,but I want real life opinnion.Thanks.

I found the Acela matched up to the German and French trains in comfort and amenities. The Acela can’t match them for speed however, as the tracks in the northeast corridor are awful compared to the new tracks in Europe and Japan. Actually the trains are capable, the tracks are not.

The train stations are getting better along the northeast corridor as well. The only point that the German and French trains were clearly superior was the food served.

I have been only on German Inter-City train and they are beauties.Tracks in eastern part of Germany in area of Berlin are brand new and there my particular train was aproaching 250km/h.
But still, I believe French TGV hold the speed record.
So when they are going to renovate railtracks in eastern corridor? or simply passenger train transport in USA is not feasible in the long run?

Acela is somewhat faster than the Metroliner service. Nothing amazing. Can’t compare to the others though.

However, didn’t Amtrak replace a significant portion of the tracks already? I believe they did, but switching, sharing (with other commuter and freight trains), and length/radius of turns limit how often the Acela can get up to a decent speed.

Alot of the track had been upgraded just prior to Acela’s launch.

As I see it, the Acela service is no different than the traditional Amtrak metroliner. There is the possibility of improved speed, however, if you take an Acela and it happens to be any time near “peak” hours for MetroNorth, you’re going nowhere fast! I took the Acela from Boston to Stamford, CT, and it took me 5.5 hours! That was due to issues on the shore line east (over congestion) and the same thing on the MetroNorth line to NYC. I will NEVER use this route again, for the time it took, I’d rather have been on a Fung Wah bus, $10 from China Town Boston to China Town NYC. Until they get their own lines for the Acela, it’s never going to make the times they claim. In fact I remember seeing a joke a few months (or maybe years…) ago showing a timetable from the 50’s or 60’s, and the travel time was less from Boston to New York then than the Acela’s time now. If I can find the link, I’ll post it.

I just did the sums from the Acela timetable - the faster section, NY - Washington, appears to work out at an average speed of about 75-80mph. Comparable to mainline speeds regarded as outdated in Britain, and 124mph from one end of France to the other (Lille - Marseille in five hours).

IIRC, for the cost you might as well fly or rent a car.

IIRC, when they launched the Acela they said that from Boston to DC, there was only roughly 20 miles of track where they could run at top speed. In order to run at top speed they’d need track improvements, upgraded crossings and sidings, and better traffic control. There have also been delays due to flooding on the tracks.

I like the train, and take it every once in a while from Boston to NYC. If the trains are running on time, its saves time vs going to Logan and LaGuardia.