DC to NYC in 96 Minutes (A Little) Closer to Becoming Reality

by Mark Wellborn


Back in September, we reported that Amtrak President Joseph Boardman was hopeful a high-speed rail could be in place by 2040, which would among other things, reduce travel time between DC and New York City from 162 minutes to 96 minutes.

With a goal of making this a reality and increasing high-speed rail access across the country, Vice President Joe Biden announced yesterday the Obama administration’s plans to allot billions of dollars to fund high-speed and intercity rail improvements and construction over the next six years. Vice President Biden made the announcement at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, the same place Boardman made his announcement five months ago.

The full White House press release on the plans can be viewed here. Those plans include the development and improvement of three main corridors:

  • Core Express: Corridors with electrified trains traveling on dedicated tracks at speeds of 125 to 250 mph or higher.
  • Regional: Corridors with train speeds of 90 to 125 mph that will see increases in trips and reductions in travel times.
  • Emerging: Corridors with trains traveling at up to 90 mph will provide travelers in emerging rail corridors with access to the larger national high-speed rail network.

Currently, the U.S. answer to high-speed rail is the Acela, a train familiar to business folk that travel between DC, Philadelphia and New York City. While it can reach a top speed of 150 mph, it averages a speed less than 70 mph, and is regularly called out by passengers for its frequent delays.

See other articles related to: joseph biden, high-speed trains, amtrak

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_to_nyc_in_96_minutes_closer_to_becoming_reality/2974


  1. Geori said at 3:58 pm on Wednesday February 9, 2011:

    A 2040 timetable is laughable.  We went to the moon within 10 years of Kennedy’s speech, yet we have to wait 29 years to not even cut the Acela’s trip time in half.  Furthermore, how is 29 years of infrastructure spending going to jump start the economy now?

    Sure, it will be difficult to pass a $53B bill and it probably won’t happen, but everyone at Amtrak should be embarrassed at the proposal.  The tracks can be built in 10 years.  China can build something like this in 2-3 years.

  1. BoredatWork said at 4:21 pm on Wednesday February 9, 2011:

    Please change headline to “White House Announces Plans for Amtrak to Equal 1960s Shinkansen by 2040”

  1. PleasantPlainer said at 6:48 pm on Wednesday February 9, 2011:

    Chinese laborers built our continental rail road. That was ok, because that was the early days. Since then, bus, auto, and air and their respective lobbies have dismantled the rail network not to mention it’s financial viability/economics in the process. What we need is a comprehensive transportation *plan*, and policies/legislation to pay for and finance it, not ad hoc spending/cutting depending on who’s in office when. Airlines have apparently solved their problem by cutting costs and raising prices. So, the high end is profitable and happy. Bus service is monopolizing the low end (sitting in traffic up and down the E Coast). Cars and trains are somewhere in the middle and trains barely beat cars in terms of travel time, and while gainfully employed hipster DINKS can afford trains and planes, the cost of train/air travel for a family are astronomical! This, and fuel prices increasing, bodes well for comfortable, affordable, high speed rail for the “masses”, not just business class. Why not tax some or all of those plane/bus/auto seats/trips, to provide some additional revenue and/or float some government bonds or PPP projects to get our rail projects Acelarated! Who wouldn’t want some long-term transportation bonds right about now? Or (and?) what if we reduced the tax deduction for air and road business travel and freight, and increased it for rail. Or tax incentives for hotels to open near train stations? I don’t know. I do know that we need a long term plan and long-term financing to get projects going. I mean “we” let “them” dismantle our rail system. That was irresponsible, but “we” did it, and “we” should fix it for the future.

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