The service will not result in a reduction of Acela stops in Wilmington, according to Amtrak spokesman Abrams. Amtrak also has regional service that includes stops in Wilmington and Newark, DE.
There have been concerns that additional nonstop service would affect Wilmington, which is one of Amtrak’s busiest stations on the Northeast Corridor. The government-owned also has maintenance, dispatching and other operations in the Wilmington area.
The initial weekday-only schedule includes one southbound and one northbound train (per day with a trip time of about two and a half hours.
The southbound train will depart New York at 6:35 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive at Washington around 9:10 a.m. The northbound train will depart Washiington at 4:30 p.m., and arrive in New York around 7:05 p.m.
“The new Acela Nonstop service will have you halfway to your New York City or DC destination in the time it would take you to board a flight,” said Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson. “This new service will offer an ideal solution for travelers who want to save time and travel between city center DC and New York.”
Amtrak is working on the final details on new amenities, which will be announced closer to the launch date. In addition, the standard Quiet Car, Café Car and First Class services will be offered on Acela Nonstop. The popular features are available on current Acela service.
The Acela Nonstop service comes in advance of the 2021 launch of Acela trainsets. The next generation of Acela trains, which are also expected to offer nonstop service between Washington and New York and New York and Boston, are being assembled at Alstom’s facility in Hornell, NY and will begin initial testing later this year and into 2020.
While the Acela Nonstop is currently only available once per day between New York and Washington, D.C.
Amtrak will be weighing potential expansion in terms of location and frequency. In its 2018 Fiscal Year, the New York and Washington stations were Amtrak’s top two busiest stations.
Amtrak operates more than 300 trains daily, connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces.
Anderson, the former CEO of Delta Airlines, is betting that the service will draw more passengers who are not happy with security screening and congestion at airports in the two cities.
He is also focusing on the Northeast Corridor and has drawn fire for suggesting cuts in unprofitable long-distance train service. Cutting service has drawn fire from members of Congress in the affected states. A few of the longer-distance routes stop in Wilmington.