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Amtrak rolls out high-speed rail plan

Amtrak logo on an Amtrack train at Union Station in Washington, DC.

TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: Amtrak has released its 30-year vision for high speed rail travel along the Northeast corridor, that really busy corridor. The government-funded rail company says its plan would cost about $4 billion a year.

Reporter Alex Goldmark looks at what that money could buy us.


ALEX GOLDMARK: Trains would zip along at 220 miles per hour, and get you from Boston to Washington, D.C. in about three hours. That's a transformational vision according to Amtrak's Marc Magliari.

MARC MAGLIARI: The thought of being able to travel from, lets say, Philadelphia to New York over your lunch hour and get there in time within the same lunch hour is something that just doesn't happen right now.

The real motivation isn't a cheese steak power lunch. It's Amtrak planning for population growth. Magliari says the system will be over capacity by 2030 without a serious revamp.

Plus, it's an investment according to Robert Puentes of the Brookings Institution.

ROBERT PUENTES: You could create a high-speed rail network that is generating revenue and is helping to pay itself back.

But with penny pinching in Washington, it may be a while before a vision like this gets a serious look in Congress.

In New York, I'm Alex Goldmark for Marketplace.

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