Washington Monthly investigates how Amtrak, the U.S. national rail agency, has failed to keep its promise to start a "bullet train." The story looks at the technological characteristics of Acela Express, a new train marketed as high-speed transportation device. The article reveals that Acela hit its top speed of 150 miles only once, while "the rest of the time it floats along relatively prosaically under 100 miles an hour, something steam trains accomplished a century ago." The report compares rail business in America and other developed countries, and finds that the U.S.A. is many decades behind Europe and Japan. The story points out that Acela's fares are close to those of the airlines, and examines the financial troubles of Amtrak in recent years.
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