Apparently, $150 billion (with a b) and 18 years.
“In the future, to move more people that are coming to the region, we have to increase speeds,” says Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm. “We have to get to next generation high speed rail.”
So, in order to meet that demand and not die off all together the way, say, horse and buggies have, Amtrak has big, big plans for the Philly-NYC corridor.
In addition to simply shutting more and more people between the two cities, the Philadelphia side of the equation would involve some rearranging of the stations. The historic 30th Street Station would lose its status as the city’s main gateway to the rails and instead Market East would become Amtrak’s high-speed hub. In addition to the Center City switch, a station would also be added at the Philadelphia International Airport.
But first it needs to raise 151 billion bucks and says federal funding is almost a must.
“Taxes that provide investment in things that underpin the economy for growth, stability and prosperity are good investments to make,” Guzzetti argues. “So that’s the way it has to be seen.”
Which begs the question: Is it all worth it.
Currently, the train ride takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. Would shaving 40 minutes off the commute really make a difference? And, at what price? Fares currently average out at $50 and certainly with the new technology, rates would go up, but no one knows just how much yet. So, is it all worth it? I guess we’ll find out in a meager 18 years.