16 Dec 2008 8:00 am   //   Filed under: Transit

Northeast corridor is hot right now

1. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ride a train from Philadelphia and Wilmington to D.C. on the way to the inauguration next month. This is so cool! Unclear what kind of train they’ll be on. Two days after them, I will also be riding the train to D.C. to see the inauguration in person.

2. Transportation Secretary Peters announced Monday that the federal government is seeking private companies to build new high-speed passenger rail lines using $30 billion in federal money. One proposal is to build a entirely new rail line between New York and Washington.

This is a wacky idea. The Northeast Corridor is the only passenger rail line in the whole country that actually works the way it should. For years, everybody has been saying that the best way to improve travel along those tracks is to build a new Hudson River tunnel, given that the current tunnel is only two tracks wide, causing an infuriating bottleneck. Estimated cost: $7.2 billion. This money should be spent on that project.