Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority have teamed up to design new high-speed trains that will operate on both the East and West Coasts. A high-speed line connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles will be the first segment of the project and is scheduled to open in 2022. The new trains will modify the existing Acela models—which serve the East Coast Corridor—to run at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour.

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In an announcement on Thursday, Amtrak and the California High-Speed Rail Authority stated that they plan to combine their buying power to acquire 60 trains over the next 10 years and modify them to achieve speeds of 220 m.p.h. Amtrak has estimated that the project will cost $151 billion and will take until 2040 to be completed. The new trains could cost up to $55 million each.

According to Amtrak, it would take 37 minutes to get from Philadelphia to New York and 94 minutes from New York to Washington. The trip from Philadelphia to Boston would take only 2.5 hours.

“International experience and our own initial investigations make it clear that the initial stages of these programs must be funded predominantly with public money,” Amtrak president Joseph Boardman.

“We want to develop a high-speed rail industry here in the United States,” said the California High-Speed Rail Authority chief executive Jeff Morales. “We want this to be the next aerospace industry.”

Via Grist and

Lead Photo by Flickr user Eridan Fetahagic