For many years in Europe and Japan, highspeed rail has been used as a viable alternative to flying and driving. Although the US is somewhat behind, they are catching up rapidly, with new types of highspeed rail debuting currently and plans for others in the near future. Finally US Government as well as people in the US have been awakened to the advantages to highspeed rail over short to medium distances! Not only does highspeed rail pollute less than planes or cars, it also can be faster. Cars are just plain slow, while many times people have to wait at the terminal for hours before they board and then wait even more for baggage. Read on to learn more about Acela, the first step in the United States towards faster trains!
Acela, the new name for the high-speed rail service in the Northeast, currently is running in the Northeast Corridor. Formerly dubbed “American Flyer,” the name change to Acela reflects “acceleration” and “excellence.” The Northeast Corridor is between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Amtrak has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into upgrading track, ordering train sets, and electrifying the Boston-New York corridor. The trains will consist of an engine on each end and six cars in the middle. These trains will have a top speed of 150 M.P.H, and the travel time between Boston and New York has been reduced to 3 hours, 28 minutes, with the trip between New York and Washington, D.C taking 2 hours, 25 minutes. These new high speed trains are a major breakthrough for the US, considering that the top train speed now is 125 M.P.H on a small portion of the US track, only between New York and Washington, D.C. In the rest of the US, train speeds are limited to 110, 90, and in most cases 79 M.P.H. For more information on Acela, take a look at the resources below.