Kerry: Amtrak needs to make Acela faster

July 15, 2008 at 5:39 PM
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BOSTON, July 15 (UPI) -- Amtrak's Acela train, which is supposed to provide high-speed premium transportation between Boston and Washington, is too slow, U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry says.

The Massachusetts Democrat said he will introduce legislation soon to provide $1 billion in funding for improvements on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, the Boston Herald reported Tuesday. Kerry, at a meeting Monday with the newspaper's editors and reporters, said that the supertrain is able to reach its top speed of 150 mph for "a couple of miles."

"I want America to have a first-rate, high-speed rail system," he said. "A high-speed rail that really lives up to the name and gets people there in the time that we ought to be aiming for."

The Acela travels from Boston to New York in about three hours, while ordinary trains and buses take about four hours.

"You know why it can't go 150 under Baltimore? Because it shakes the tunnel and it's unsafe for the city," Kerry said. "You can't go over the bridges because they're unsafe because we haven't rebuilt them for high speed."

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