True High Speed Rail – Could make the trip from Chicago to St. Louis in 2 hours

OK, so we spent the last 30 posts showing what the rightwing and the leftwing talking heads have been talking about. Now onto real news. This was forwarded to me by Andy Martin of Phat Andy’s Barbecue fame. Thanks for that man.

Amtrak’s high-speed rail vision for 2040: New York to Washington in 96 minutes

By Andrew Nusca | Sep 30, 2010 | 37 Comments

Amtrak on Tuesday unveiled its vision for high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor by 2040, and it’s a doozy.

According to the train operator’s “A Vision for High-Speed Rail in the Northeast Corridor” report (.pdf), progress in the next 30 years could bring trips from New York City to Washington, D.C. in 96 minutes and trips from Boston to New York in just 84 minutes.

Amtrak is thinking “world class” rail, and the plan involves speeds of up to 220 miles per hour (about 354 kilometers per hour) that, all said and done, would slash existing commute times between the aforementioned cities in half.

But no plan is without a price tag, and Amtrak hangs that vision on a peg of $117.5 billion.

Here’s a statistical rundown of how that adds up on the ground:

  • Deadline: 2040.
  • Ridership by 2040: 18 million.
  • Capacity to expand beyond that: up to 80 million annually.
  • Frequency: one to four trains per hour in each direction, with additional trains for peak demand. Today: 42 per day. Tomorrow: 148.
  • Plan would generate an annual operating surplus (yes, you read that correctly) of about $900 million.
  • More than 40,000 full-time construction jobs each year for 25 years’ worth of building track, tunnels, bridges and stations.
  • More than 120,000 permanent jobs benefit from “improved economic productivity” along the corridor
  • $4.7 billion investment each year over 25 years, or $117.5 billion in total.


Next up, cheaper more efficient solar pane. More tomorrow.


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