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NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION OF X2000 OFFERS VISION OF HIGH SPEED RAIL'S FUTURE; PENNSYLVANIA HOSTS CONCLUSION OF UNIQUE NATIONAL TOUR

 PITTSBURGH, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Bringing a product directly to customers is a time-tested sales tool.
 But what if the product is 460 feet long and weighs 350 tons?
 That was the challenge facing ABB Inc., the developer of X2000, a unique high speed tilting train, and Amtrak.
 The solution was a first-of-its-kind national demonstration of high speed passenger rail service. Since mid-May, X2000 has travelled from coast-to-coast, visiting 85 cities in 18 states, including the corridors identified by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as having the greatest potential for high speed rail. The national tour was conducted at the invitation of state transportation officials and was co-sponsored by the states, ABB, the FRA and the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe railroads. Amtrak coordinated the tour.
 The tour gave the "customers" -- public policymakers and potential high speed train passengers -- what they wanted: a look into the future of rail transportation. Across the country, X2000 revived the hope that not only could passenger train service between cities be restored, but that it would be done with first-class, reliable high speed technology made in the United States.
 The tour will come to an end Thursday in Pennsylvania. Transportation officials and other state and local public policymakers will learn about X2000's potential for Pennsylvania at a Pittsburgh breakfast.
 Following the presentation, guests will ride X2000 from Pittsburgh to Connellsville, Pa.
 The Pennsylvania conclusion to the national tour is fitting. Amtrak has been evaluating X2000 since October in technical tests and in passenger service. Some of X2000's first demonstrations in the United States were on the tracks between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa. last fall.
 Pennsylvania's curving, century old rail line was an ideal corridor to show off X2000's ability to travel through curves at speeds much greater than conventional trains. In fact, on the sharpest curves on which X2000's technology was tested during the demonstration in Pennsylvania, conventional trains must slow to 50 mph. X2000 successfully was tested at speeds as high as 81 mph. On other curves on the route, conventional trains slow to 75 mph; X2000 successfully was tested at up to 112 mph -- 49 percent faster than conventional trains.
 Earlier this year, X2000 provided regular passenger service to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., and New York. Between Feb. 1 and May 7, Amtrak operated X2000 in scheduled Metroliner Service on the Northeast Corridor.
 It is X2000's national tour, though, that in many ways has been the train's most remarkable accomplishment, according to Joseph S. Silien, director of business development for ABB Traction Inc., ABB's U.S. rail equipment company.
 "With the national tour, X2000 has travelled about 70,000 miles since October. In all that distance, it never missed a minute of service due to a mechanical breakdown," said Silien.
 ABB was so confident of X2000's reliability, that in 11 weeks of non-stop, coast-to-coast travel, only one trip was scheduled back through Washington, D.C., the train's servicing base -- and that stop was to accommodate a public display in Harrisburg, as X2000 travelled from Florida to Illinois.
 Visits to the cities on the national tour included public displays and special trips on tracks that someday could be part of high speed rail corridors.
 "I think what impressed people the most was the potential X2000 demonstrated to provide high speed rail service on corridors laid out a century ago," said Silien. "The national demonstration showed people around the country that high speed rail was affordable, practical and available right now.
 During the national demonstration, more than 110,000 people rode X2000 or toured the train in its public displays.
 "Anyone who doubts that high speed inter-city train travel has a customer base should talk to those who were part of X2000's national tour," said Silien.
 "Even more telling than the enthusiastic supporters who came to the displays in large cities were the thousands of people who waited in their backyards, on the sides of roads or in the doorways of their shops simply to catch a glimpse of the future as X2000 went through their towns," he added.
 "In Ocala, Fla., a city of 37,000, we were greeted by 2,000 people for a 30-minute stopover at 3 in the afternoon. Almost 700 people walked through X2000 in a 20-minute stop in Columbus, Wis., a city of 4,000. And in Eugene, Ore., 1,500 people welcomed X2000 when it arrived in the evening, another 500 were there to send us off in the morning, and 3,000 came back that afternoon when we returned for a display."
 Data gathered from the X2000 demonstration will be used by Amtrak to help prepare specifications for new high speed trains to operate between Washington, D.C. and Boston.
 If X2000 is ordered for the United States market, it will be manufactured at ABB Traction's facility in New York. In addition to the electric trains that could run on the Northeast Corridor, ABB is working on a design for a high performance diesel locomotive for use on corridors where electrification is not contemplated.
 ABB Inc., headquartered in Stamford, Conn., provides products and services for the power, process, industrial automation, environmental control, mass transit and other markets. The company and its subsidiaries have sales of approximately $5.1 billion and some 27,000 employees in the United States.
 X2000 NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION FACT SHEET
 TOUR DATES: Began May 11, Elmira Heights, NY (ABB Traction's rail manufacturing facility)
 Ended July 22, Pittsburgh.
 DISTANCE: Since testing began in October 1992, X2000 has traveled more than 70,000 miles.
 VISITORS: More than 135,000 people have ridden X2000 or toured the train in its public displays.
 PERFORMANCE: X2000 has achieved a remarkable 100 percent reliability rate. In technical testing (October 1992 - January), passenger service (Feb. 1 - May 7) and the national demonstration (May 11 - July 22), X2000 has travelled almost 70,000 miles. It has never missed a trip and has never been late due to an equipment problem.
 On the coast-to-coast national tour, ABB Traction was so confident of X2000's reliability, only one trip was scheduled through Washington, D.C., the train's servicing base -- and that stop was to accommodate a public display in Harrisburg, Pa., as X2000 travelled from Florida to Illinois.
 TOUR ROUTE: New York: (Elmira Heights, Corning, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Hudson, New York City, Schenectady, Fort Ticonderoga)
 Virginia-North Carolina: (Fredericksburg, Richmond, Rocky Mount, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte)
 Florida: (Jacksonville, Orlando, Lakeland, Tampa, Clearwater, Auburndale, West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Waldo, Tallahassee, Madison)
 Illinois-Missouri-Michigan-Wisconsin: (Chicago, Joliet, Dwight, Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, St. Louis, Hammond-Whiting, Niles, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, Columbus)
 Oregon-Washington: (Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Keslo- Longview, Eugene, Albany, Salem)
 California: (Oakland, San Jose, Watsonville Jct., Salinas, Martinez, Stockton, Riverbank, Merced, Madera, Fresno, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Moorpark, Los Angeles)
 Ohio: (Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield, Columbus, Galion, Cleveland, Elyrla, Sandusky, Toledo, Fostoria, Akron)
 Pennsylvania: (Pittsburgh, Connellsville)
 -0- 7/22/93
 /CONTACT: Karen Armour of ABB, 203-328-2217/


CO: Asea Brown Boveri Inc., Amtrak ST: Connecticut, Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU: PDT

DS -- MN007 -- 4663 07/22/93 14:41 EDT
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