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Amtrak prepares for highly anticipated test of high-speed trains: '[This] leads toward launching revenue service'

These sleek new trains aren't just faster.

These sleek new trains aren't just faster.

Photo Credit: iStock

Exciting news for train enthusiasts and eco-conscious travelers alike: Amtrak just got the green light from the Federal Railroad Administration to start testing its new fleet of high-speed trains on the busy Northeast Corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston.

These sleek new trains aren't just faster — they're also more energy efficient and can carry 25% more passengers than the current aging Acela trains they'll be replacing, according to the New York Times. That means taking more cars off the road and cutting pollution with every trip.

Already popular in countries such as China, high-speed rail is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a cleaner transportation future. Trains are already one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel medium to long distances. These new Amtrak trains will be even better, using state-of-the-art technology to maximize speed and efficiency.

The new trains are designed to tilt around curves for a smoother, faster ride. They'll be able to hit speeds up to 160 miles per hour once the tracks are upgraded, according to Axios Philadelphia.

For reference, the average car on the highway tops out around 70 mph. Imagine zipping past traffic at over twice that speed.

Not only will these high-tech trains cut travel times and boost passenger capacity on the busy Northeast route, they'll also protect the planet. Transportation is the largest source of planet-overheating pollution in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Anything we can do to get people out of gas-guzzling cars and onto shared transit like trains makes a real difference.

Opting for the train over a plane or car on your next trip is an easy way to slash your carbon footprint. Taking the train instead of flying can cut your carbon footprint by a whopping 90%. And with more passengers able to ride on each of these new trains, the per-person pollution will be even lower.

Testing is "the next step in the safety certification process that leads toward launching revenue service," Amtrak told Axios. Each successful test brings us closer to a future of faster, greener travel in the Northeast.

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