Traveling to NYC in under two hours could become a reality in the near future, according to the North Atlantic Rail Initiative (NAR). Reaching up to 200 miles an hour, the new high-speed train would take passengers from South Station to Penn Station in about one hour and forty minutes. The current travel time from Boston to NYC on Amtrack’s Acela trains is almost four hours.
The initiative also seeks to improve commuter services all throughout the New England and New York areas providing significant updates to the local rail system. NAR’s new regional railway system would include an east-west link between Boston and Springfield that would continue on to Hartford; improved commuter services between Concord, New Hampshire, and Boston; frequent high-speed rail between Kingston, Rhode Island and Providence and Boston; and connections to Pittsfield from Connecticut.
Other upgrades would also include frequent service on rail links to T.F. Green, Bradley, Manchester, Portland and MacArthur, Logan, JFK, and LaGuardia Airports; the electrification of the MBTA commuter rail system as well as the MetroNorth segments not currently electrified; and deployment of state of the art passenger rail vehicles for passengers across the seven states.
According to NAR proponents, the project would also have many additional benefits including the creation of tens of thousands of jobs spurring the economic recovery and post-pandemic development of the region and would aid in reducing pollution by taking cars off of streets and reducing carbon emissions. The electrification of already existing railway systems would bring environmental justice to communities that have historically been pollution hot spots; provide more transport options to underserved communities, and would help provide more affordable housing as people could then be able to live further away from their jobs and commute with ease.
If approved by the government, the $105 billion high-speed rail project would take around 20 years to complete, but when finished it would link Boston and other major New England cities to New York City, easing the predicament of commuting within the area.