On Acela's 10-year Anniversary, Amtrak Looks Forward

Without doubt, the pride of the Amtrak fleet is the ten-year-old Acela train, the closest thing to high speed rail in existence in the United States. This piece looks at the current service and Amtrak's hope for the future for the northeast route.

"Acela has come of age as a popular alternative to flights or traversing Interstate 95 along the busy Northeast Corridor."

Patrons are for the most part pleased with the service (take the poll; 66% 'excellent' approval rating as of Dec. 15, 2010) but recognize that the trip is still longer than its competition - air shuttles.

"Amtrak's long-range vision (PDF) increases speeds of up to 220 miles per hour - cutting the trip from Washington to Boston from six and a half to just three hours and 20 minutes."

"Each Acela train has about 260 business class seats and 40 first-class seats with reclining leather chairs and tables in each car. [View 17-slide photogallery, includes Chinese high speed train.] An average of about 72 percent of the train's seats were sold on peak segments and 60 percent on all segments - figures that have improved substantially over the past five years, according to data from the rail agency."

Thanks to Kenyon Karl

Full Story: As Acela turns 10, Amtrak envisions high-speed rail expansion

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