After three years of delays, Amtrak's plan to roll out a highly anticipated bullet train in the northeast corridor is hitting another snag.
Apparently, the tracks cannot handle the speed of the train.
According to a report by Travel Pulse, quite a few sections of the 450-mile rail between Boston and Washington do not have tracks that are equipped for the train.
"There are some sections of the track that are too old to handle the bullet train and therefore the bullet train will have to run slower than usual. That is, about the same speed as a regular train," the report says.
Travel Pulse says it would take billion of dollars "just to upgrade the tracks in the northeast corridor alone, much less the rest of the country."
The high-speed bullet train was set to start running in 2024 after three years of delays.
It is not known how much of a setback the track situation will be.
The issue just highlights the difficulties in bringing widespread high-speed passenger rail service across the country, according to Louis Thompson, a former director of the Federal Railroad Administration and a member of the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group.
"Until we are serious about high-speed rail in the same way that we were serious about the interstate highways, we're highly unlikely to see a national high-speed rail system," Thompson told E&E News.
The interstate highway system took 35 years to complete and cost $129 billion, nearly $290 billion in today's dollars, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The 2021 infrastructure bill set aside $102 billion for rail, but none of those funds are earmarked for high-speed rail, E&E News reported.
A number of studies have shown that high-speed rail systems not only relieve congestion, shorten travel times and improve mobility, but they also reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and offer a path to lower greenhouse gas emissions.