That journey is already well served by Acela and Amtrak regional service, and many people do make that journey regularly. It is precisely journeys like this that have made Amtrak a notable success in the US. Many companies have offices in either city but will serve customers in the other, generally in consulting or corporate legal fields. It is somewhat common for employees some companies to work Monday through Thursday at an office in a different city on occasion when projects require it. Get on a morning Acela in either direction at NY Penn and it will be packed with senior lawyers, consultants, engineers, etc making their way to clients or satellite offices in other North East cities. This is Acela's raison d'etre as it were.Baldy's Boss wrote:Baldy's Boss wrote:
And of course it is the specific journey from NY Penn Station and 30th Street,Philadelphia that I was referring to as insane to take by car...there are mass transit connections at both ends.
However, who is going to just take that journey alone? And whilst there are mass transit links at both ends, these can still add 30 minutes-1 hour to the journey time. And at what extra cost is such a journey too?
I am not sure, this is getting pretty hypothetical. Of course some additional number of people would commute from Albany to the City if it were faster to do so, but it isn't clear who exactly they would be, how many they would number, and if they would be the type of people who would want to commute by high speed train. Conceivably the very wealthy would either have already located to more prime areas in or near the city, or would even fly if they absolutely had to live in Albany. If we are talking about opening up New York job opportunities to people in Albany, I don't believe that providing them with a high speed rail link help or is economical, nor is it part of Amtrak's mandate. The Billions of dollars required to upgrade the line could build or improve existing subway or commuter rail service in the New York area, under the aegis of state government through the MTA, or provide more accessible housing development in areas already served by transit for people upstate to relocate to.Baldy's Boss wrote:If the tracks down the Hudson were upgraded to take the Acela/Avelia trains,though,the reduced trip time between NYC and Albany would change the equations.
The New York Metro area contains some 20 Million people, who all benefit from from improved regional mass transit. Albany has about 100,000 people, and still only just over 1 million if you include the metro area. Each billion dollars of rail investment in New York goes much farther, both in network effects and sheer numbers served, than a billion spent on premium services to cities upstate.
Personally I'd love to see a more extensive high speed network here, but I don't think this particular case is where to start. As previously mentioned, the Acela sets are nearly at end of life. It could conceivable take 10 years to bring track up to high speed standard between here and Albany, by which time the Acela sets will be significantly older and worse for wear. If the federal government did decide to build that line for some reason, the cost of new up to date trains would be a drop in the bucket compared to the infrastructure.
If the Acelas really do have life left in them in 2021, it makes much more sense to run them on the 'local' NEC tracks to displace or supplement some of the current locomotive hauled stock on regional trains. That stock can then be scrapped or diesel hauled anywhere else in the country.