Amtrak IG: Railroad Could Save Money if ‘Conventional’ Fleet Improved to Acela Level

Amtrak could improve its service and save money “if the availability of the conventional fleets were improved to the level of the Acela equipment,” the railroad’s inspector general told Congress recently.
 
“Acela, which represents about 10 percent of Amtrak’s total fleet of equipment and was the first fleet to employ reliability-centered maintenance, has seen significant improvements in reliability and availability,” Inspector General Ted Alves said in his prepared testimony. “These improved maintenance results have allowed Amtrak to deploy two additional Acela trainsets, generating over $50 million in additional revenue since the trains were put into service.”
 
The inspector general recommended Amtrak’s vice president of operations “adopt the Acela maintenance practices for improving the performance of Amtrak’s conventional fleet.”

The inspector general believes Amtrak “could provide the same level of service with over 120 fewer conventional cars and 45 fewer conventional locomotives than presently required” if the availability of the conventional fleets were improved to the level of the Acela equipment.” In doing so, the railroad could potentially save roughly “$600 million in fleet procurement costs over the next 15 years.”

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