PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The future of train travel is coming to Philadelphia. Amtrak is getting ready to unveil a new line of Acela trains that will transport passengers all along the northeast corridor.
The Acela trains we ride right now are more than 20 years old. We’re told these new trains are better in multiple ways, so we sent CBS3’s Ross DiMattei to 30th Street Station to check one out.READ MORE: Man Killed In Road Rage Shooting In Springfield Identified, Authorities Say
“We have more train sets, more seats per train, more amenities for customer convenience, for comfort, for safety, and more sustainability,” Laura Mason, the executive vice president of capital delivery of Amtrak, said.
Welcome to the future of train travel.
Starting next fall, you’ll be able to take one of the brand new Acela trains to any major city in the northeast between Boston and Washington D.C.
“Each train here carries 378 passengers compared to 304 of the current legacy Acela train fleet,” Mason said.
Besides being about 24% bigger than the current Acela sets, Amtrak says these new trains are faster.
Literally, the only thing you get less of, is less time on these trains because they’re gonna go faster,” Mason said.
And smoother than previous models.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf Expected To Veto Bill That Would Ban Transgender Athletes From Competing In School Sports
“Between two cars, they share a wheel set, so it’s a stiffer train set, which means a smoother ride for customers,” Mason said. “It’s also a single level between adjacent cars so much easier to walk through. While we’ve added a lot of handhold grab bars to make it safer for people, you’re much less likely to need them. It’s a really smooth ride.”
Inside, the trains are taking customer comfort to a whole new level, regardless of whether you’re in coach, business, or first class.
“I think it’s that the seats are more spacious. We have larger seats, winged headrest, so you don’t accidentally fall asleep on your neighbor,” Mason said.
“Every seat has its own outlet, its own USB, its own reading light,” she added. “And even the tables are now individualized so instead of having to negotiate with your neighbor about when to flip that table up, everybody has their own.”
Not to mention bigger bathrooms, a lounge area for relaxing , and the comfort of knowing your environmentally friendly ride just got greener.
“Already, rail today is the greenest way to travel,” Mason said. “Eighty three percent reduction in greenhouse gasses compared to driving, 73% compared to flying when you’re talking about the northeast corridor. These train sets, as a fleet basis, is 20% more energy efficient. And on a per passenger basis, it’s 40% more efficient. So the greenest way to travel is getting greener.”
Your first chance to ride one of these trains will come next year when Amtrak rolls out half of its new fleet in fall of 2023.MORE NEWS: Jersey Mike's Subs Paying Hefty Price For Violating Child Labor Laws
The goal is to have all 28 new train sets up and running by the end of 2024.