Locomotives / Train Sets

AMTRAK Avelia Liberty

Electric, Tilting Locomotive

Series: "SCNF TGV M"

Entry Last Edited: 01/17/2024 | Content ©www.RailRoadJunction.net | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Specifications [+]
The Avelia Liberty - and its inherent tilting action and electric drive - propels American passengers at speeds of 220 mph.
The "Avelia Liberty" was selected by railway operator AMTRAK to succeed its Acela Express high-speed electric train. The key difference of the new approach is a tilting action (up to 6.3-degrees from centerline) intended to maximize passenger comfort and luggage stability while retaining speed in turns. Construction of the series began in 2017 with service expected to begin through AMTRAK sometime in 2023 or 2024. A total of 28 trainsets have been ordered by the company with the trainsets being constructed by Alstom of France in the United States (at Hornell and Rochester, NY facilities).

The Avelia Liberty is based in the French Avelia Horizon (SNCF TGV M) tilting high-speed train design of 2020 though modified to better fit American railway industry standards concerning high-speed passenger travel.

Once the trains are in formal service, they will operate the line that encompasses the Northeast Corridor with depots based in Southampton Street Yard (Boston), Sunnyside Yard (New York City), and Ivy City (Washington, D.C.). The investment behind a tiling high-speed train is moving more people in the same time frame as had through the aging AMTRAK Acela trainsets still in service.

In its typical configuration, the trainset is made up of eleven total cars of which two are power cars and the remaining nine are passenger cars / coaches. Capacity is 386 seats. The set has an overall length of 698.5 feet and an axle load of 17 tons.

The locomotive has a "long-nose" assembly common to other high-speed trains found across Asia and Europe. The nose is windowed for the driver who is seated at front-center in the driving cab with acess given through side rectangular hinged doors. The entire first car in the set is the power car (as is the final trailing car). Passenger cars are bookended by the two power cars in the typical arrangement.

The traction system involves the IGBT-VVVF inverter control system with 3-phase AC induction motors, AC-DC-AC power transmission being present at the various sections of the travel line. Electrical systems at play are 25 kV 60 Hz AC, 12.5 kV 60 Hz AC, and 12 kV 25 Hz AC accessed via overhead Pantograph, one assembly fitted to each power car. Total output power is rated at 9,400 horsepower.

The drive arrangement will provide the train with a typical service speed of 160 miles-per-hour (260kmh) while reaching 186 mph (300kmh) when tilting at-speed and 220 mph (350kmh) when not tiling at-speed. Two prototypes were used in the speed testing phase.

Braking will be handled y both dynamic and regenerative components at the power cars and an electro-pneumatic disk-and-tread system along the trainset.

Onboard safety systems include the ACSES ("Advanced Civil Speed Enforcement System").

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Specifications [ AMTRAK Avelia Liberty ]

Alstom - France / United States

United States
2017 - Ongoing
Production Run

28 units
Production Total
Train driver seating position graphic

Driver Position
Locomotive power source graphical icon
Electric, Tilting
Power Source
AC-DC-AC transmission; IGBT-VVVF inverter control system through overhead line; 25 kV 60 Hz AC; 12.5 kV 60 Hz AC; 12 kV 25Hz AC; accessed via Pantograph assembly.
Engine / Drive Source
3-phase AC induction motors.
Traction Motor / Sets
9,400 hp
Rated Output Power
350.0 kph
(217.5 mph)
Max Speed
Wheel Arrangement
(Loco Facing Left)


Safety Systems
Series Variants
Avelia Liberty - Base Series Designation.
Avelia Horizon (SNCF TGV M) - French TGV design on which the Liberty is based on.
Operating Countries
United States

National flag of the United States
Customers / Operators:
NOTE: Includes both past and present

Image of the AMTRAK Avelia Liberty

Image of the AMTRAK Avelia Liberty
Image from official AMTRAK announcement concerning the Alstom-Acela program partnership.
AMTRAK marketing materials.
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