Bullet trains in America? The new push for major high-speed rail project between Boston and New York

Mar 1, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

How does an hour and 40 minutes between New York City and Boston by train sound?

It’s not outside the realm of possibilities, with high-speed rail projects and proposals getting a major boost under the new Biden administration.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Bloomberg reported on the possibility of a bullet train between some of the largest cities in the Northeast with a new tunnel from New York to Boston under the Long Island Sound with stops in Providence and Hartford. It’s called the North Atlantic Rail Project. It’s been in the works as an initiative since 2017 and is a collaboration between leaders in seven states.

Amtrak’s new Acela locomotive. (Image courtesy of Amtrak)

It would require the largest underwater tunnel in North America. It would also require government funding to really get off the ground. The tunnel would be built in three phases over 20 years at the cost of at least $105 billion.

(Screenshot courtesy North Atlantic Rail)

 

(Screenshot courtesy North Atlantic Rail)

I asked for a comment from the new Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. His team told me they weren’t ready to comment on the proposal right now but pointed me to an interview Buttigieg did with Joy Reid on MSNBC where he said, “I want the U.S. to be leading the world when it comes to access to high-speed rail, and I think we have a real opportunity to do that, especially with the bipartisan appetite for real investments that we have before us this year.”

In an interview with TPG last month, Buttigieg told me, “… an American citizen should have nothing to envy from a Japanese or Chinese or for that matter, an Italian or Turkish citizen when it comes to the opportunities for them to travel quickly where they need to be, and safely on passenger rail.”

Related: Amtrak’s new Acela high-speed trains to launch 2021

President Biden famously used Amtrak for his commute between Washington and Delaware during his years in the Senate.

The Biden administration will likely add to the budget for long-distance train travel, including Amtrak and increase funding for other trains, airports, ports and other infrastructure spending overall. The Biden administration is also much more likely to work with big-city mayors asking for federal funds for big train projects.

Related: Amtrak plans to expand new nonstop Acela service from New York

New York, for example, has been asking for major federal funding toward efforts to shore up the busy Northeast corridor and make improvements to tracks and stations.

The Biden White House will likely try to push through long-stalled infrastructure projects and fund projects already underway. They are enthusiastic about trains with the campaign saying last year that they want “to spark the second great rail revolution.”

Funding for the North Atlantic tunnel could be part of a major infrastructure bill currently working its way through Congress. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Amtrak is already rolling out its new high-speed Acela train sets.

Amtrak wouldn’t comment specifically on a new bullet train, but did tell TPG, “We are looking forward to introducing our new high-speed Acela trains, which will modernize the customer experience with state-of-the-art accommodations and amenities, provide a smoother and even more comfortable ride, and offer a greener way to travel as the new fleet has been efficiently designed to use 40% less energy per passenger.”

Learn more about Acela:

Back in December, TPG reported on the new trains being tested and promoted by Amtrak. Pretty cool stuff.

Featured image courtesy Amtrak

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.