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On the Acela

Stopped briefly at New York Penn Station on my way to Boston. I do have to admit, this is nice, and we cruised through New Jersey at ludicrous speed, which is the right speed to go through that state at. Speedometer app on the phone says we averaged about 120 and hit a peak speed of about 140mph. I do have to admit, you combine this with no TSA and I have to admit it’s nicer than flying. Still frigging expensive though.

12 Responses to “On the Acela”

  1. Ian Argent says:

    Is the performance that much better than the Metroliner? That does Penn Station EWR to Union Station DC in approx 3 hours (or used to, anyway) at a not-unreasonable price. North of NYC you lose much of the advantage of the Acela anyway, since there are level-crossings that could not be moved and other things that keep the speed limit down.

    • Bitter says:

      Where I think it outperforms the regular trains is that it is largely on time and reliable. When I had to take the train back to DC once, I ended up paying for an Acela because the metroliner was running 3 hours late.

      • Ian Argent says:

        Sic Transit Gloria Mundi then, since the Metroliner was always on time and the Northeast Corridor things nearly always. Admittedly, I haven’t taken either in years.

  2. beatbox says:

    The metroliner is no more. The Acela certainly is better on reliability. Their record is much better than the delta/usair shuttle (which is one of the reasons I take it).

    Again, you need to understand how the position it in the market. If you are considering a choice of Acela or the regional, then it seems expensive. If you consider as train vs. plane, then it makes sense. …and the experience is much better imho.

    • Ian Argent says:

      Then my gratuitous Latin applies with more accuracy. I will have to say I almost never took the Metroliner due to being a starving college student at the time. But even the Northeast Corridor trains generally ran on time.

      • Bitter says:

        Ah, I presumed metroliner was the name for the other trains that always ran late. I just know them as the trains that are never on time. Ever. :)

        My first time riding Amtrak was from Springfield, MA to Philly. We left about 15 minutes late, but I think we arrived nearly 2 hours late. I’ve never seen a non-Acela Amtrak train on time.

        • Ian Argent says:

          Metroliner is (was) an “express” that ran from NYC to DC, with less stops between than your average Northeast Corridor train.
          Note that service from NYC through points North, particularly in CT and MA, are impacted by legacy design decisions, mainly sharp turns and grade crossings that cannot be replaced by bridges.

          • beatbox says:

            You don’t want to know the real reason the Acela can’t go faster…okay, I’ll tell you. After they ordered the equipment they realized there was a screw up and they were built 8 inches too wide. They tilt at high speeds so they need a certain clearance from the other trains. that is why the only place they can actually go their designed speed is a short straight away in the north east.

          • NUGUN says:

            Really? I found the tickets to be more expensive than Southwest. But I’ve neer bought at last minute either.

  3. DirtCrashr says:

    Last time I drove through NJ I think I kept the hammer down and was doing about 80. I wasn’t stopping. But it was 1982.

  4. Alpheus says:

    Sadly, the TSA isn’t content with just destroying our air flight experience. In time, they hope to spread into trains, buses, even freeways.

    Sadly, there isn’t (yet) much of an outcry against this. But then, they are also doing this, a little bit at a time.

    Death by a thousand cuts, perhaps–or maybe breaking the Revolutionary Camel’s back, a straw at a time…I suppose only time (and the character of the American people) will tell!

  5. Alpheus says:

    Sadly, the TSA isn’t content with just destroying our air flight experience. In time, they hope to spread into trains, buses, even freeways.

    There isn’t (yet) much of an outcry against this. But then, they are also doing this, a little bit at a time.

    Death by a thousand cuts, perhaps–or maybe breaking the Revolutionary Camel’s back, a straw at a time…I suppose only time (and the character of the American people) will tell!

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