Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Amtrak speeds up to 110-mph Chicago-Detroit

Although not announced, some simple math puts the time savings at about 8.5-9 minutes not considering any additional acceleration time required and about twenty minutes all told from the 79 mile per hour speed limit. For only eight daily trains and 600,000 annual passengers, this honestly does not seem like much bang for the buck on Amtrak's part. Once again I feel that Amtrak should be divested from its infrastructure and refocus on national rail service instead of projects like this one. While I hate to be parochial (not really), the same speed increase, even over a shorter portion of the LOSSAN Line, such as from Irvine to Los Angeles, would have reaped far greater results. Three times as many trains each with about 40% more passengers as it currently is and a ten mph increase in average speeds makes it far more car competitive with one of, if not the, busiest automotive corridors in the country, leading to greater revenues for Amtrak. But instead it gets wasted out in Michigan because Amtrak owns those lines and SCRRA owns (most of) LOSSAN-South.

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