Feds announce new funds for high-speed rail

Initial construction work to shave off time between New York and Philadelphia
will begin in 2012.

The fastest passenger trains in the nation are one step closer to New York.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $745 million in mass transit funding yesterday to improve the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor line between New York City and Trenton, N.J.

Once the project is completed, Acela Express trains on the stretch of revamped track between Trenton and New Brunswick, New Jersey, would be the fastest in North America — reaching up to 160 miles per hour.

After improving supplemental power supply and modernizing signals, the government hopes to one day bring that speed up to 186 miles per hour.

Going 160 miles per hour on that 24-mile segment of New Jersey track compared with the current max of 135 mph would save about a minute and 40 seconds.

That’s at a cost of $4.5 million per each second of improvement.

“With our population expected to grow by 100 million more people between now and 2050, we are investing in a high-speed rail system that connects to other modes of transportation, reduces congestion and improves the efficiency and reliability of travel in America,” explained Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo.

Making Amtrak trains reach 186 mph on the improved stretch will also require new locomotives and passenger cars, the rail administration said.
ALISON BOWEN/Bloomberg


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