CHOO CHOO, Chug-a-lug.

Stimulated by Congress and President Obama, Amtrak has approximately 5 years and $15B in funding to improve the nation’s train track infrastructure. Our guest this Saturday believes this is a giant step toward a nationwide train service comparable to europe. Yours truly is highly skeptical, believing the economy is more ripe for more home-based businesses than a large pool train commuters. What’s your opinion??

Thomas Dorsey, Founder/Publisher of Soul of is my guest Saturday July 11, 2009, on the MIND YO BUSINESS talk show, from 10:15am-10:45am [New York City Time].

Read the Soul of America article: “Amtrak Acela Shows Promise,” below. Check out the Soul of America website, by clicking on the Soul of America link on the right side of this blog.

MIND YO BUSINESS on The Power, XM Radio Channel 169 and now on the internet through 9:00am-11:00am [Eastern Time] Toll-free call in number is (866) 801-8255.







    Beginning 1971, Amtrak has provided rail service for passengers in the Northeast Corridor between Boston, New York City and Washington. Since then, Amtrak radically improved service in the corridor via electric-powered trains, upgraded tracks and signaling, underpasses and bridges separating rail tracks from auto traffic, separating freight tracks from high speed rail tracks, and fencing track to prevent animals and people from wandering onto them.


    By the late 1990s, Amtrak reached a top speed of 135 mph in the Northeast Corridor. Taking it to the next level of service in the NYC-Boston leg, Amtrak introduced Acela trains in year 2000 that reached 150 mph and tilt around curves without spilling a glass of wine on the table. Acela trains have more creature comforts, electrical outlets at each seat, Internet access and a dining car that whisk you from downtown NYC to downtown DC in less time and cost than flying plus a taxi.

    Even when you factor in greenhouse gases emitted by the power plants supplying energy to the trains, Acela is significantly more fuel-efficient and greener per passenger mile, than driving or short flights. An important side benefit is that Amtrak Northeast Corridor service reduced the need for airport expansion to accommodate airplane flights of 45+ minutes that also take 90 minutes of queue time to board a plane and 30-90 minutes taxi time from airport to downtown. Similarly, Amtrak Northeast Corridor eliminated the need for a parallel I-95 Freeway.


    Divided in two, the Northeast Corridor consists of:

* New York-Newark-Philadelphia-Wilmington-Baltimore-Washington
* Boston-Providence-New Haven-Stamford-New York

    In the 237-mile New York-Washington segment, frequent Acela trains run from early morning to midnight at up to 135 mph for the 2 hour, 50 minute journey – that’s a New York-to-Washington average speed of 84 mph. At that average speed, Acela and other Amtrak trains traveing up to 125 mph attract more passengers than flights between NYC and DC. Since passengers can purchase tickets online and enter via a dozen train doors, many arrive only 5-10 minutes before their train arrives.

    In the 211-mile Boston-New York segment, much of it remains hampered by 100 year-old track, bridges and signaling, shared track with freight trains and 11 places where autos cross the tracks. But one recent 18-mile section between New Haven and Providence features state-of-the-art dual track (two lines north, two lines south) and new signaling that enable Acela to reach its top speed of 150 mph. That recent improvement project shortened time for Amtrak trains between Boston-New York from 4 hours and 30 minutes down to 3 hours 27 minutes or 61 mph on average. To no one’s surprise, a larger percentage of I-95 Freeway travelers switched to Amtrak.

    Given Amtrak was recently authorized $15 billion over the next five years, by 2014, funding will enable Washington-New York trip time to reach 2 hours 30 minutes or 95 mph average. By the same date, Boston-New York trip time should reach 2 hours 40 minutes — 80 mph average. The Northeast Corridor is also being extended to Portland, Maine and Richmond, Virginia.  That’s good news we can ride on.

(Courtesy Soul of