Yesterday, Amtrak announced plans to create a new, exclusive high-speed rail corridor in the Northeastern United States.
The proposal would cost upwards of $117 billion and could be complete by 2040. Trips from Washington to Boston would take only 3 hours.
Amtrak rightly points out that there is almost no better candidate for true, "next-gen" HSR than the Northeast Corridor. But the density in the corridor would also make this easily the most expensive rail project ever undertaken in this country.
The benefits, though, could be phenomenal. In fact, Amtrak expects that the new line could generate an annual surplus of $1 billion (2010 dollars) and could more than triple Amtrak ridership in the NEC from today's level.
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