Dec. 11 is going to be a big day for Amtrak. If the schedule holds,
that will be the day when the railroad's first new high-speed Acela
Express train starts revenue service in the Northeast Corridor.
"High speed" means capable of 150 mph. In real life, the new
equipment will only attain that velocity on some stretches between
New York and Boston, near Hartford, Conn. Between New York and
Washington, the new trains will max out at 135 for now, about 10
mph faster than the Metroliner equipment they replace.
But enough about speed. Trains are not really about speed.
They're about time.
Sometime next year, Amtrak will offer a product it's never had
before: nonstop service between New York and Washington. Yeah, it's
With apologies to everything in between, that means no Newark;
no Trenton, N.J.; no Philadelphia; no Wilmington, Del., no
Baltimore. It means midtown to Capitol Hill in two hours and 28
minutes, without leaving the ground. Welcome, Amtrak, to the 21st
• • •
New York vs. New York
Suppose they gave a World Series and nobody came?
The early and inimitable word from some New Yorkers was:
Fuhgeddaboudit, it's our party, and besides, the hotels are
New York hotel rates are nearly three times the national
average, and still the city is taking occupancy rates where they've
never gone before. It's a problem many visitors bureaus would like
We love New York (how can you be in the travel business and not
love New York?), but we worry.
If you're a city, and if chance and circumstance give you an
opportunity to open your doors to the world for a special event,
it'd be nice if they had a place to stay already.