Yesterday, Amtrak announced a $151 billion plan to overhaul the Northeast Corridor route. And the ambitious proposal includes the dream of "37-minute trips from New York to Philadelphia at speeds approaching 220 miles per hour (354 km per hour)" and 94-minute NYC-Washington trips and 94-minute NYC-Boston trips!
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "Faster service would be phased in gradually, as Amtrak improves existing tracks, signals, bridges, and power lines and then builds a separate high-speed corridor between Washington and Boston to accommodate trains traveling at 220 m.p.h." The NYC-Washington leg would be done by 2030 and the NYC-Boston part by 2040.
Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman said, "The NEC region is America’s economic powerhouse and is facing a severe crisis with an aging and congested multi-modal transportation network that routinely operates at or near capacity in key segments. With an expected 30 percent population increase by 2050, we must move beyond mere preservation and rehabilitation of the current system to a new vision for expanded transportation capacity and growth."
Of course, Amtrak is a government-owned company, which requires support from the state and federal level for any kind of infrastructure project. (This 2002 NY Times Magazine article, "Amtrak Must Die," is a must read.) So expect clusterf*cks ahead.