Amtrak has been heading for a collision with a Congressional mandate for operational self-sufficiency by 2003, and the high-speed rail it will introduce in the Northeast corridor could put it on the right track. IDEO took a ten step approach to define the ultimate customer experience and designed the Acela Express completely around customer needs to capitalize on the ease and comfort of rail travel while increasing competitiveness with air shuttles.
"This sensible and elegant design is a move toward the 'train culture' of Europe. A transport system of this calibre will encourage train travel, which answers an ecological problem of huge proportions." - Naomi Gornick, I/IDSA, Brunel University, U.K.
Contact: Scott Underwood, IDEO,
Designers: IDEO, Nikolaus Frank, Adrian Corry, IDSA, OH & CO and Amtrak