The site www.lohud.com, serving the Lower Hudson Valley, reports that Amtrak is planning to break its top speed
when it updates a 24-mile stretch of track in New Jersey allowing trains to hit 160 mph. The trains will get to this new top speed in NJ between New Brunswick and Trenton (trains now travel there at 135 mph). Work is expected to begin in 2013 and take four years. Work includes replacing overhead wires with constant-tension wires that don't sag. Amtrak will use $450 million in federal high-speed-rail funding. The high speed is reached currently in Rhode Island as the Amtrak Acela gets to 150 mph for approximately 35 miles.
Ridership has been growing and Amtrak broke its own record in fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2011 with a ridership of 30.2 million, it's eighth record in the past nine years. Reaching the highest speed in NJ is great move for Amtrak. The Philadelphia to NYC stretch is the middle of the NEC and needs to upgraded to ensure continued efficiency of traffic along this stretch.