There’s been a lot of talk recently about China’s blisteringly fast new high-speed train and about struggles in the U.S. to get on board with high-speed rail, but Amtrak would like you to know that this country’s first such train has been around for quite a while, and is in fact celebrating its 10th anniversary this month [PDF].
The Acela Express has traveled between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York at 150 miles per hour since December 21st, 2000, and–according to Al Engel–Amtrak’s president of high-speed rail, proves that high-speed rail does work in America.
In 2010 alone, the Acela Express carried more than 3.2 million passengers and earned $440 million in ticket revenue, running an average of 80 percent full on its busiest segments during weekdays. All told, more than 25 million passengers have traveled the railway since its first day of operation–all of which was highlighted by Engels in a recent editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he called upon policy-makers in Washington and state capitals to make “a firm commitment to the future of high-speed rail.”
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