Acela Route Through Rhode Island Hits the Brakes

Sep 26, 2013

Travelers relying on the Amtrak Acela train from Boston and Providence to New York will need to find another way to travel today.

A power failure is to blame for the cancelation, which might not be fixed for several weeks.

A cable line failure outside of New York City halted commuter trains and Acela traffic during rush hour yesterday afternoon.

Now the Boston to New York Acela route has been canceled, and may not run for the foreseeable future.

The regular Amtrak northeast regional service, is also affected by the problem/

Aaron Reed / RIPR

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and the head of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation are planning to inspect an abandoned train tunnel in Providence to see how it could be used in the future. The tunnel was built in 1906 connecting the Seekonk River to the Providence River.

Gov. Chafee said he’d like to see if it could be opened and used for RIPTA buses. DOT director Michael Lewis said there are no firm plans for the old tunnel and the point of Thursday’s inspection is to see if it’s structurally sound.

file / RIPR

In a rare move, Amtrak has slowed down trains along the Northeast Corridor due to the heat. Amtrak trains travel at speeds reaching more than 100 mph, but on Thursday they’re going about 60mph.

Sensors along the track show rail temperatures at more than 120 degrees. And Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said those hot rails pose safety concerns. “They can under some rare circumstances expand. So the thought process behind any restriction in speed is to have the trains going at a lower than normal speed to make it less problematic in case there were an issue with the track,” said Cole.