Amtrak’s New Trains Can’t Hit Full Speed On Its Ancient Track
Amtrak’s new trains are seeing red over how slow they have to go. Photo: Ed JONES / AFP (Getty Images)
So, while it’s great that we might finally get a few dozen high-speed trains in America next year, it’s not quite the turning point for this great nation’s train travel. Instead, it’ll be a bit like excitedly buying all the ingredients for delicious brownies, only to get home and realize you don’t have an oven. Disappointment for everyone is guaranteed.
This means that president Biden’s ambitious plans for the future of America’s railways could hit a stumbling block. Or, as Scientific American reports, three stumbling blocks.
It’s not angry, it’s just disappointed that it won’t go full-speed. Photo: Amtrak
The U.S. lacks a passenger rail industry that can produce all of the parts needed for a high-speed rail system and comply with Buy America. In addition, the tracks, signals, rail cars and software made in the U.S. are costlier than imports, largely because the government has not funded rail the way European and Asian countries have, experts say.
However, when the trains reach America, they will be limited to “slower than 110 mph in most segments,” according to a new report from Scientific American. According to the site, this is because the 450-mile route does not currently use modern tracks that can handle the high speeds of the new trains.