Ladies and gentlemen, please buckle your seat-belts and keep your hands (and all other limbs) inside the ride at all times.
Amtrak's getting an upgrade! Yeah, it's better than those out-of-date boards in Penn Station. We're talkin' need-for-speed level upgrades.
Federal officials announced a $2.45 billion loan to Amtrak for the purchase of new high-speed trains traveling from Washington to Boston.
As reported by The New York Times, Amtrak plans to put 28 of the new state-of-the-art trains into service in about five years, and will depart every half-hour between Washington and New York, and every hour between New York and Boston.
They figure this will increase passenger capacity by 40 percent.
Also, for the main attraction: you’ll be getting to your destination much quicker and more efficiently than ever before.
Although they won’t reach those absurd European or Asian train speeds, they will reach 160 miles per hour (currently running 135 if God's having one of those days where he doesn't hate trains).
At some point, the train will be able to go even faster, but that would require a much bigger upgrade of the train track system. Generally speaking, that's a bigger pain in the ass, so it's not likely to happen anytime soon.
Amtrak’s chairman, Anthony R. Coscia, said that the railroad service is “responding to a change in the United States of people moving into the cities, of people looking for city-to-city connections.”
Although the Acela trains have been a vital part of the past nearly 15 years worth of travel in the Northeast Corridor, they are reaching the end of their lives. The new trains will be manufactured in New York State by Alstom, a French company that builds high-speed trains around the world.
Alstom will build a version of the Avelia Liberty for the new Amtrak trains, which are capable of traveling at 186 m.p.h.
Like the current Acela trains, the new ones will include business-class cars, a cafe car, a first-class car, and a quiet car. The new trains will also be more accommodating to disabilities.
Officials say that approximately $2 billion will be used on the new trains, while the rest of the loan will be used for updating and upgrading existing stations, including those in New York and Washington.
So, while Amtrak might have always been for lovers, this new upgrade will be for anyone else, lover or otherwise, who want to go fast. Real fast. Meanwhile, we're just waiting for MTA upgrades like, I dunno, reliable and affordable train service.[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]