New York to Philadelphia in 37 Minutes?

Travel between New York and Philadelphia in 37 minutes — and between New York and either Washington, D.C. or Boston in 94 minutes — on trains traveling as fast as 220 miles per hour may be possible by 2040, as Amtrak announced a $151 billion improvement plan.
While it is certainly not “90 minutes from New York to Paris” as purportedly espoused by Donald Fagan in his 1982 hit song I.G.Y, this would essentially give rail travel a greater advantage over automobile and air travel in terms of speed. Additionally, passengers of train travel are currently not subject to security checkpoints like the ones found in airports — although that could always change in the future. However, if you were traveling from New York to Philadelphia, Boston or Washington, D.C., you would not have to worry about transportation as train stations — unlike airports — are usually located in the center of the city or at key points near the city, saving even more time and potentially being far more convenient.
For you frequent travelers who may not know this, Amtrak does have a frequent traveler loyalty program called Guest Rewards.
It is unknown at this time what will be the cost of train fares on the faster trains — especially as Amtrak will need substantial financial governmental support for this plan to come to fruition.
I have traveled on the bullet trains in Japan. They are indeed fast — especially as a bullet train going in the opposite direction passes by with a noisy and quite abrupt “whoosh” which lasts only seconds. The seats were no less comfortable than seats found aboard an airplane. There are tray tables and overhead space for luggage, as well as other features and amenities. At the right price points and factors such as convenience, I could see myself choosing high-speed train travel over air travel and automobile travel.
One of the disadvantages of trains is that they are confined to a track, which limits their mobility and raises infrastructure costs. If I may indulge in a little science fiction fantasy for a second, I would rather see some sort of high-speed “bus” which would not need a track so that routes would be given greater flexibility, but it would travel as fast as a train, possibly running on electrical or hydrogen power. Perhaps these “super buses” would be confined to a lane on an existing highway for their use only when in high-speed mode, but when exiting the highway, they would use ordinary existing roads and streets used by all other vehicles. These are just the foundation thoughts of an idea not possible today, but perhaps for the future.
What if high-speed train travel were possible in the United States, as it currently is available in other parts of the world such as Japan? What would compel you to choose train travel over automobile or air travel? Do you believe that high-speed train travel is indeed viable?

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