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Northeast Corridor High-Speed Rail Act Introduced in House

Eleven Northeastern House members introduced H.R. 4838 on March 12, 2010, to make Amtrak's corridor from Boston to Washington, DC, eligible for federal grants to develop high-speed rail service under 49 U.S.C. 26106.  The Northeast Corridor is not among the ten "high-speed corridors" designated as eligible to receive federal funds for the development of high-speed rail.  Amtrak's Acela trains currently operate in the corridor and provide the highest speed intercity passenger rail service currently available in the U.S.  Although Acela trains are designed to operate at top speeds of 150 miles per hour, the physical and operational constraints of the Northeast Corridor limit the average speed of the Acela to about half of that maximum.  The legislation seeks to provide funding for the "considerable investments" in infrastructure upgrades necessary to allow Acela service to operate at its full potential.