Amtrak upgrade in New Jersey will have trains moving 150 mph

In this March 12, 2016, file photo, an Amtrak train passes a New Jersey Transit train stopped to discharge and board passengers at Elizabeth train station in Elizabeth, N.J., along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

In this March 12, 2016, file photo, an Amtrak train passes a New Jersey Transit train stopped to discharge and board passengers at Elizabeth train station in Elizabeth, N.J., along Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Amtrak has finished upgrades in New Jersey that’ll let passengers travel up to 150 miles-per-hour.

When new trains are introduced next year, they’ll be able to go 160 mph.

“The upgrades coming from the New Jersey High-Speed Rail Improvement Program exemplify our continual commitment to upgrade the Northeast Corridor and transform the customer experience as we welcome more passengers back on board,” said Amtrak President and CEO Stephen Gardner, in a statement. “Our customers will experience more reliable and faster trains and better on-time performance on this busy section of the NEC.”

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The upgrades happened on Amtrak’s Acela line, on a 16-mile stretch of track between New Brunswick and South Brunswick.

The Acela train runs from Washington, D.C. to Boston — with stops including Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York. It’s already the fastest train in North America. 

The U.S. lags behind other countries on high-speed rail, which is seen as a less carbon-intensive alternative to flying.

High-speed trains have been in Amtrak’s sights for years. Acela already reaches 150 mph on two stretches of route between New Haven and Boston.

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The infrastructure bill President Biden signed into law last year earmarked $65 billion for rail, but experts doubt much will go to high-speed rail. Amtrak’s recent New Jersey upgrade was a $450 million investment from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Amtrak officials say the project is the first of many expected speed upgrades.

Others are currently underway between South Brunswick and Trenton — and should be finished in 2024.

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