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High-Speed Amtrak Train On Track

January 31, 2000

BOSTON (AP) _ Amtrak opened its new Acela high-speed rail service today connecting Boston, New York and Washington _ and the first train left South Station 20 minutes late.

Officials said the train would cut the five-hour trip to New York by an hour and eventually would trim the journey to three hours and reinvigorate rail travel.

Today’s departure, delayed by an engine problem, was the first for two-train-a-day regional service from Boston to Washington. Amtrak plans to eventually have as many as seven regional trains and 10 express trains, which are to debut later this year.

The regional trains will travel at about 110 mph on their four-hour trip on the New York to Boston leg. After new signaling equipment is installed, they will speed up to 125 mph in some areas.

The express service will hit speeds up to 150 mph, cutting the Boston-New York trip to three hours.

″(The express) is to make Amtrak more competitive with the air shuttles, and the regional service is to make us more competitive with driving,″ said Amtrak spokesman Rick Remington.

Acela service was inaugurated with a ``flipping of the switch″ ceremony to electrify the track between Boston and New Haven, Conn. Until now, trains going from New York to Boston have had to stop in New Haven to swap their electric locomotives for diesels.

The cost of a one-way Acela ticket between New York and Boston will rise from $50 to $56. The New York-to-Washington fare will remain $84.

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