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Home > Archives > X2000 arrives in Washington, D.C.

X2000 arrives in Washington, D.C.

Color photograph showing the X2000 passing K Tower in Washington's terminal yard.

X2000 arrives in Washington, D.C.

As Amtrak explored the development of high-speed rail in the early 1990s, it leased two European high-speed trainsets for testing: the Swedish X2000 and the German Inter City Express (ICE). Both trainsets were used in revenue service on the southern portion of the Northeast Corridor in 1993. The equipment was also put on display in cities across the country. Amtrak recorded customer and employee feedback to help in developing specifications for its own high-speed equipment.

Designed and built by Asea Brown Boveri, Inc. for the Swedish State Railways, the six car X2000 shown above was tested by Amtrak because it could travel at higher speeds than conventional trains on existing main line track; unlike contemporary French and Japanese high-speed trainsets, it did not require new, dedicated tracks. In a brochure distributed to passengers, Amtrak explained that the X2000 included three innovations: "AC electric propulsion, radial self-steering trucks and an active carbody tilting system."

Photo by Doug Riddell.