Amtrak unveils high-speed rail vision
Amtrak is unveiling a $117 billion, 30-year vision for high-speed rail on the East Coast that would drastically reduce travel times along the congested corridor.
At a news conference at Philadelphia's 30th Street Station on Tuesday, Amtrak President Joseph Boardman said the proposal is at the visionary stage, and there's no funding plan in place. It aims for high-speed rail by 2040.
Boardman says the Next-Gen High Speed Rail line would reduce the travel time between Washington, D.C., and New York City from 162 minutes to 96 minutes. The travel time between New York and Boston would go from 215 minutes to 84 minutes.
Last week Amtrak named veteran transportation professional Albrecht "Al" Engel, who serves on the board of directors of the American Public Transportation Association, as vice president of a new high-speed rail department.
"Al has considerable expertise, is a dedicated proponent for public transportation and shares our conviction that Amtrak plays a vital, leading and necessary role in expanding and operating high-speed rail service across the country," Boardman said in a statement.
Albrecht, a current vice president and high-speed rail director with AECOM will pursue the development of high-speed rail corridoers in states such as Florida and California, which are pursuing projects, and will act as and advisor on a study commission by Amtrak on increasing top speeds beyond the current limit of 150 mph.
About 12 million riders a year use Amtrak along the Northeast corridor.
Amtrak says the high-speed trains could accommodate about 33.7 million passengers by 2040.
-- Associated Press and staff reports
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