Amtrak Acela Trucks

Because TGV builder Alstom participated in the consortium that designed and built the Acela Express, the Acela is viewed as a distant relative of the French TGV high speed trains. However, it is misleading to describe the Acela Express as a type of TGV. While the two may look similar at first sight, they have very few components in common. The Acela Express was largely built on US soil (as stipulated in the Amtrak contract), with Bombardier's plants in Vermont and New York performing much of the manufacturing. Alstom also furnished some components made in France.

The six passenger cars are fitted with an active tilt system based on Bombardier's proven LRC (Light, Rapid, Comfortable) technology. The tilt system compensates for as much as 75% of the lateral force felt by the passengers when running through a curve (becoming fully active above 60 mph). The trucks are related to the standard TGV truck, with a long-wheelbase, dual-transom, H-frame, welded-steel design. The trucks also feature outboard-mounted / tapered roller bearings. There are three brake disks fitted to each axle (as opposed to the TGV's four). As in TGV practice, the primary suspension is swing-arm coil spring, and the secondary suspension uses air springs with a coil spring backup (in case of pneumatic failure). The tilt system is accommodated by a tilting bolster, which is suspended from the truck frame by four swing arms. The tilting is hydraulically actuated by an under floor hydraulic power unit. Each car has a tilt control processing unit and tilts independently of the others by up to 6.5 degrees either side of vertical (tilt functions are controlled by the tilting master sensor and master controller located in the power car). The power cars themselves do not tilt.

Bachmann makes the only Acela trucks (and actual cars) in N scale -


Car -
Wheel Diameter 0.223" (scale 36")
Wheelbase 0.742" (scale 10')

Locomotive -
Wheel Diameter 0.250" (scale 40")
Wheelbase 0.695" (scale 9' 3")

Spookshow Home