Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Future Amtrak Acela Service to hit 186 mph

Now, if you want to go fast in a car, I suggest looking at this website first so you know where you'll get busted for running a red light (but lets be honest, if you're running red lights you should get busted). But if you want to go fast(er) in a train, well, that will soon be a possibility.

Does anyone really want to go to Jersey faster?
How about high speed rail from New York to Albany instead?
Congressman Eliot Engel announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation will be spending nearly $745 million to upgrade some of the Northeast Corridor’s most heavily-used sections. Improvements between New York City and Trenton will improve on-time performance and reliability, and an initial increase in top operating speeds up to 160 mph and future maximum speeds of 186 mph.

The work is expected to create approximately 12,000 jobs. Some $295 million of the money will ease major delays for trains coming in and out of Manhattan, with new routes allowing Amtrak trains to bypass the busiest passenger rail junction in the nation.

"This grant money will not only help our economy but is a big win for commuters along the Northeast Corridor. These jobs will go to Americans, using American made material, while improving transportation across a region where 50 million Americans live and work," Engel said.

Jump below for the rest.

The money is part of the Obama Administration’s capital investment in the Northeast Corridor, and the improvements will allow for the fastest passenger train speeds attained in North America to date. Acela Express trains will soon reach up to 160 mph (up from 135 mph today) along a 24-mile segment of the corridor between Trenton and New Brunswick, NJ. As Amtrak purchases next generation high-speed trains, passengers will travel at world-class speeds of 186 mph along the improved track.

"Gas prices seem eternally rising so this will be a boon as more Americans are choosing to travel by train," Engel said. "Our country’s population is expected to grow by 100 million by 2050, so this investment in high-speed rail reduces congestion and improves the efficiency and reliability of travel. Increasing speeds and improving service on the Northeast Corridor, which is the most heavily-traveled passenger rail corridor in the nation, is a crucial part of our effort."

As someone who grew up in Albany and took Amtrak from Albany to New York on a regular basis, I can only hope this one day gets to the Empire Service. There's no reason the it should take three hours to get between the two cities with how much they are connected politically and economically.

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