The train route between Philadelphia and New York City will soon hold the fastest stretch of track in the country after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans to increase rail speed to 160 miles per hour along the line.
Amtrak will receive $450 million to boost speed and capacity on the Northeast Corridor, particularly a 24-mile stretch between Morrisville, Bucks County, and New Brunswick, N.J., where speeds will increase from 135 miles per hour. Amtrak’s long-term plan is to reduce a trip from Philadelphia to Manhattan from 90 to 38 minutes and passage to Washington, D.C., in 54 minutes.
President and CEO of the Center City District Paul Levy said that being able to employ the second stage of the plan would be a “game changer” for Philadelphia.
“We are delighted that Amtrak was able to get the money. Decreasing the travel time between Philadelphia and New York boosts the competitiveness of the city on many fronts,” Levy said.
In his State of the Union address this year, President Obama said he wants 80 percent of Americans connected to high-speed rail lines within 25 years. Amtrak plans to begin work on these projects “very quickly” and has set target completion dates for various components between two and six years.