Amtrak had anticipated installing new, larger trains that were supposed to enter into service in 2021.
However, challenges have persisted along the way.
France-based train maker Alstom has struggled with testing requirements and production defects on the $2.3 billion program to replace its Acela trains.
As a result, Amtrak has had to spend millions of dollars in maintenance costs to keep its older, existing fleet in operation while losing anticipated revenue.
The company reportedly has its sights on launching the new Acela fleet in October 2024.
However, the inspector general’s report states that it’s “an optimistic time frame, and additional delays are possible.”
As things work to get sorted out, six of the new Acela train sets are parked in an Amtrak rail yard in Philadelphia.
“We want our customers to experience these new trains as soon as possible, but … Amtrak cannot operate them for passenger service until Alstom has completed testing and meets all safety requirements,” said Laura Mason, Amtrak’s executive vice president for capital delivery.
Learn more about Amtrak’s challenges and opportunities at The Wall Street Journal.