WASHINGTON (AP) – Only one Acela Express train will run daily between Washington and New York through Friday as Amtrak works to repair damaged brakes in its high-speed rail fleet, a spokeswoman said Monday.

That Acela train will depart at various times during the week, said Tracy Connell. Amtrak had one Acela train up and running Monday, the first since the fleet was pulled off the tracks Friday.

Amtrak normally runs 15 Acela weekday roundtrips between New York and Washington and 11 between New York and Boston. Metroliner and regional trains will account for most of the Acela train route between Washington and New York this week, Connell said. Regional trains will run in place of Acela trains from New York to Boston.

Connell said it was still not known how long it would take to repair the train brakes.

The high-speed service was suspended Friday after Amtrak discovered millimeter-sized cracks in 300 of the Acela fleet’s 1,440 disc brake rotors.

The Acela trains are built by Montreal-based Bombardier, Inc. The company has brought in extra people in Washington, Boston and New York to replace the faulty brakes.

Bombardier spokesman David Slack said Monday the cause remained under investigation.

The Acela problem comes as President Bush is urging Congress to eliminate Amtrak’s operating subsidy and privatize it. A Senate subcommittee is to debate Bush’s proposal Thursday. The current budget gives Amtrak about $1.2 billion in operating subsidies and capital investment funds.

Acela normally makes up about one-fifth of Amtrak’s service along the Northeast corridor, carrying an average of 9,000 riders on weekdays.



On the Net:

Amtrak: http://www.amtrak.com


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