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Amtrek Discover the excitement of Crashela.

Redefining safety and qualtity.

Crashela (krash-EL'-ahh):
1.) A combination of the words "Crashworthy" and "Excellence"
2.) An innovative brand of Amtrek train that is engineered for maximum survivability. The design incorporates energy-absorbing crumple zones into each passenger car. This technology protects the expensive locomotives during every collision.
UPDATE: The name is Crashela. There seems to be much confusion regarding the name for Amtrek's new brand. It's been mistakenly referred to as Crashetta, Cashella, Exella, Ashella, Astella, and - almost unbelievably - even Ahcela. Because of this, we're now engaged in efforts to reinforce Crashela brand recognition. Remember: if you want the train that redefines safety and qualtity, you've got to ask for it by name. Crashela is the word. How is it pronounced?  krash-EL'-ahh
Hear it: Play the WAV (24k)How is Crashela prounced? Play this WAV file.    Play the AIFF (24k)How is Crashela prounced? Play this AIFF file.   

Take a ride on Crashela!
(February, 2001)
Finally, after more than 22 years of testing and rebuilds, our new Crashela high-speed train is ready for limited service.
Initial runs are open only to the media and Amtrek Board members. For all others, we've created a Virtual Crashela that realistically simulates the excitement of riding what will be the premier high-speed train in the world. This simulated ride is intended for Guests using Internet Explorer 4 or above. Javascript must be enabled.
If you meet these conditions, Click here to Ride.

Take a ride on Crashela!

Crashela trainsets built four feet too wide

This photo shows the exaggerated width of a Crashela trainset. Engineers plan to correct the problem with a process known in the rail industry as De-widening. Workers will cut each car down the middle with an industrial-sized band saw and remove a four-foot wide slice. They will then glue the halves back together before going on an extended lunch break.

Base photo used and modified with the kind permission of Stan Feldman. Stan's Railpix: http://www.trainweb.org/railpix

Engineers shocked to discover latest problem
(December 6, 2000)
Amtrek's new Crashela trainsets are exactly four feet too wide, project engineers learned yesterday. A stunning setback, the news comes less than a week before the scheduled launch of Crashela Express service. The glitch has been traced to a translation error in an e-mail between Grenadier, the French-Canadian manufacturer, and Amtrek, a New Jersey corporation. It is unclear why the problem was discovered only after six of the trains were produced. Contractual penalties may be invoked, but there is mounting concern that penalties may be insufficient to prompt better performance from Grenadier. Amtrek denies rumors that it is considering launching surgical air strikes against Canadian targets. However, Amtrek President Woodward P. Sanguine says the idea "does have some merit." The issues at hand are complex and involve Amtrek, Grenadier and the governments of three nations: the United States, Canada and New Jersey.

Hairline cracks discovered
Another setback for high-speed rail

Magnaflux and x-ray analysis of hairline cracks

A careful analysis of these images led metallurgists to conclude that there are hairline cracks in Crashela locomotives.

(August, 2000)
Recent tests on the Crashela power cars have resulted in another discouraging setback for the program. Amtrek metallurgists using magnaflux and x-ray analysis have uncovered a hairline fracture in the bodies of all Crashela locomotives. While small, the fault means that the trainsets must now be returned to Grenadier, the Canadian manufacturer. Members of Amtrek's High-speed Task Force are now deciding what action to take against the firm. One Task Force member, Mr. Grover Babbidge, says that military action may be necessary in order to "show these Canadians we mean business." Mr. Babbidge asked that his comments be kept "strictly off the record."

New Crashela wheel design may be a "keeper"
Crashela wheel and truck assemblies have proven to be a vexing concern for years.
The latest problem with Crashela wheels was a high-frequency screeching sound produced at speeds above 13 mph. The annoyance - traced to contact between the flange and rail - had the potential to be a customer-satisfaction issue. That is, until Amtrek Mechanical Engineer James G. Quagmeyer developed an innovative new flangeless wheel. In the words of Mr. Quagmeyer: "Get rid of the flanges and you get rid of those darned screeching noises." There are, admittedly, still questions to be answered. Removing the flanges has affected the ability of the wheels to remain centered on the relatively slippery steel rails. (Amtrek engineers have only recently learned that the original purpose of the flanges was to hold the train on the track.) One solution proposed by Mr. Quagmeyer is to retrofit rubber treads to the new flangeless wheels. This would add the needed traction, but would still necessitate that enginemen carefully "steer" the train over the narrow rails. However, one spin-off benefit of the rubber tire scheme would be that Amtrek could conceivably eliminate the traditional rail-and-tie track structure. Crashela trains would then be free to roam the highways of this great land, unencumbered by fixed rails. Someday soon, motorists may find themselves sharing the Interstate system with 5-car Crashela trains!

Flangeless Wheel Design schematic

New, flangeless wheel compared with the outmoded conventional wheel

22nd Anniversary of the first Crashela tests!
Vintage film of an early Crashela test run.

Windows Media Player video (.avi file, 328kb)
QuickTime Movie (.mov file, 500kb)

Where does the time go?
It's hard to believe that 22 years have passed since the first high-speed tests of Crashela. Yes, it's true. Way back in July, 1978, Amtrek began testing a new high-speed train for the Boston-Washington corridor. Since those first tests, virtually every component has been redesigned. Wheels, brakes, toilet flush levers - even the Crashela logo has been changed twice and service hasn't even started yet! Finally, the tests are nearly complete and Crashela will soon be ready to enter revenue service. It's been a long road, but Crashela promises to be the finest train ever built using vintage 1970s technology. On-board amenities include a Disco and a gift shop offering everything from Pet Rocks to 8-Track tapes of popular recording artists like the BeeGees and Donna Summer.

To view recently-discovered film of the early Crashela tests, select one of the links to the left.

Announcing: A new Crashela logo!
Amtrek is rolling out a new logo for our Northeast Corridor high-speed rail service. This unveiling represents the culmination of an intensive six-month, $1.5 million market research and design effort. The project was conducted by IDEOT, the New York marketing firm behind brands such as American Motors, Eastern Airlines, and Ipana Toothpaste. According to accountants at IDEOT, this new logo dramatically illustrates Amtrek's renewed commitment to quality. It's also 27% bigger than the old Crashela logo. And, as everyone knows, bigger is always better.
OLD logo NEW Improved logo

Solving problems requires persistence and ingenuity.
(And we've got to work with the talent we have, so it may take us a bit longer.)
This revision of the Crashela wheel design looks promising
(July, 1999)

Early tests of the original Crashela wheels revealed several minor problems including vibration, extremely rapid wear, and derailments. The radical new configuration pictured here addresses those concerns. (Unfortunately, it also has some impact on speed and power consumption.)

When all else fails: Alternate transportation to the rescue!
Our Crashela product line includes a luxurious fleet of motor coaches. These are used after derailments to transport survivors to the nearest airport. Amtrek even supplies Guests with a handy $29 voucher to help offset the cost of a plane ticket to the passenger's final destination.

Crashela Alternate Transportation motor coach service is provided through a partnership with Regal Beagle Bus Lines.

Deluxe Alternate Transportation
- Regal Beagle Bus -
For when comfort and speed aren't your top priorities
Please visit our Northeast Corridor Improvement Project photo gallery. The Project is an integral component of our Crashela service upgrade.

Amtrek - Practice Makes Perfict

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