Fast Amtrak trains in training

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Photo - An Amtrak train near Bowie State University in Maryland (Examiner file photo)
An Amtrak train near Bowie State University in Maryland (Examiner file photo)
Local,Maryland,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Amtrak plans to test high-speed travel this week, running trains along the Northeast Corridor at 165 mph as the precursor of higher speed service.

The tests start Monday and will occur in Maryland on Tuesday night, running back and forth for 21.3 miles between Perryville and Wilmington, Del., for six hours at some point after 10 p.m. and into early Wednesday morning, said Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole. Other test areas are slated for New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Riders won't get to go along for the ride. But it's part of a push to let them ride faster in the future along the well-traveled corridor within the next 28 years.

Currently the Acela trains have a maximum speed of 150 mph, but the average speed between Washington and Boston is actually 84 mph, according to the train service.

By 2030, Amtrak hopes to be able to run trains up to 220 mph between Washington and New York. By 2040, the high-speed network would extend to Boston. To get there, Amtrak plans to upgrade the system in phases. The first phase would allow Acela trains to go 160 mph.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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