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9/25/2012 11:30:00 AM
Amtrak testing trains at 165 mph in Northeast Corridor
Starting last night and during the rest of the week, Amtrak will operate high-speed test trains at 165 mph in four areas covering 100 miles of the Northeast Corridor.
The tests will use high-speed Acela Express equipment and measure interaction between the train and track, rider quality and other safety factors, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.
The faster trains will be tested along the following sections of track: 21.3 miles between Perryville, Md., and Wilmington, Del.; 22.9 miles between Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J.; 29.2 miles between Westerly and Cranston, R.I.; and 27.8 miles between South Attleboro and Readville, Mass. Amtrak is considering operating trains at up to 160 mph along those segments.
The initial test run is in New Jersey, where Amtrak is working on design, engineering and other pre-construction activities for a $450 million project that’s being funded by the federal high-speed rail program.
That project includes upgrading track, electrical power, signal systems and overhead catenary wires to improve reliability for Amtrak and commuter-rail service, and is necessary to enable permanent train operations at higher speeds.