Imagine being able to commute between Washington, D.C. and New York City within an hour and a half. No, you’re not flying, you’re actually taking a train. Specifically, you would be on Amtrak’s newly proposed $151 billion high-speed rail that will connect America’s Northeast Corridor of major cities in 2040. The new rail would be able to hit top speeds of 220 miles-per-hour in specific lengths of rail, and should be able to take a passenger from D.C. to Boston in about three hours.
Currently, the fastest Amtrak train is the Acela Express line which still takes roughly three and a half hours for a commuter to get from New York City to Boston and about three hours to get from D.C. to New York City. Compare that to the plans for the new rail, the two are hardly in the same league in terms of saving time between commutes.
The biggest hurdle for creating this rail is the cost, which is currently valued around a $151 billion undertaking. Current state, Federal, and local transportation programs and subsidies would be insufficient to bankroll this plan, so increasing fares and taxes on commuters seems to be an ugly truth the train line will have to deal with over the next few years.
That being said, the expansion of a bigger and faster train is necessary in the future if you consider the statistics and figures regarding our burgeoning population size. As commuters and riders move further away from work or require travel in between cities, a better train will be necessary. Amtrak President and CEO, Joe Boardman, weighed in on this necessity saying:
With an expected 30 percent population increase by 2050, we must move beyond mere preservation and rehabilitation of the current system to a new vision for expanded transportation capacity and growth
Things do look bright for the future of this proposed plan since the House recently passed a new national transportation and housing bill that will give Amtrak a new budget of $1.8 billion which is a whopping 27 percent increase from last year. Granted I will be pretty old when this new train is actually up and running, it will still be awesome to ride that fast on a train.
[image via ideallab]