GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999


Amtrak’s Acela, their new high speed “bullet” train, was scheduled to begin service a year ago. But they didn’t make it. The inaugural run is Thursday, with a champagne christening in Washington and fireworks in Boston. Daily service begins on December 11, with 20 trains in service by the summer (according to their current schedule anyway!). They’ve been letting reporters on for test rides. Bullet trains in Japan and France were introduced in the 1960s. The U.S. has been woefully behind, even with its vaster geography. It will take a lot to catch up; most of the country’s railways can’t handle faster trains. If the Acela does not catch on, Amtrak will very likely go under (unless the government gives it a reprieve in the form of more hard cash), and it could take a Dagny Taggert to get another transcontinental railroad up again. (Correction 11/21: France’s TGV actually started commercial service in 1981. Thanks Olivier. Can I ever trust newspaper fact checkers?)