High hopes for US high-speed rail

High-speed rail in the U.S. could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, bring economic benefits to cities and improve regional connectivity, concludes a report published this month by the Mineta Transportation Institute.

The report notes that the only trains in the U.S. capable of operating faster than 150 mph are Amtrak’s Acela trains, but they reach those speeds for only about 50 miles of track along the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

The Mineta report looks at the benefits touted by several high-speed rail projects, but all are still in the planning phase, except one under construction in California.

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