While officials on the west coast of the US solidify plans for their high speed rail line, the east coast is hoping not to be left behind. This week, Amtrak announced their hope to create a train line capable of running at 220mph to take New Yorkers to Philadelphia in just 37 minutes and to Boston and Washington DC in roughly an hour and a half (instead of the current 3 or 4 hours). Amtrak’s proposal also includes direct links to airports in major cities like Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and White Plains, New York. The only snag in this master plan is the astronomical price tag of $151 billion, but considering the amount of time and fuel that could be saved, it may be well worth that figure.
In the US, railways are mostly funded by federal and state governments, which would need to contribute the lion’s share of the moneys to get the ball rolling on a project like this high speed rail. Unfortunately, with the government’s laundry list of programs to fund, $151 billion may seem like a very high cost, particularly when building a new high speed rail may not be top priority. While the project waits to see if government assistance is even possible, Amtrak does have the Acela Express train that reaches up to 150 mph but hasn’t been upgraded in nearly a decade. We agree with our friends at Treehugger, however, that the new railway would greatly increase travel and commerce between powerhouse east coast cities and create tons of jobs!
If the proposal is approved and funded, we can all look forward to zooming up and down the coast in 2040.
lead image © flicker user redarrow
additional images © wikimedia and flickr user savannahgrandfater