Amtrak has revealed some details of its new Acela Next-Gen trains, which are expected to hit the tracks from Boston to D.C. in 2021. The new trains will make the commute faster, but they also include include millennial-friendly features, like faster Wi-Fi and USB and power outlets. There’s also reading lights and winged headrests. The trains should be ready for testing later this year.
The new trains will carry up to 380 people, an increase of about 25 percent from the older cars. There are also new safety measures put in place.
“We’ve got to position Amtrak to have a modern product that a millennial wants to get on with high speed Wi-Fi, craft beers and reliable schedules that beat buses, cars and airplanes,” Richard Anderson, president and CEO of Amtrak, told CBS News.
The new trains would shave 15-20 minutes off the popular New York City-D.C. route, which currently takes about three hours, and will travel up to 160 mph. While high-speed rail has struggled to take hold in the U.S., for Amtrak, it’s these fast trains that are pushing it toward profitability.
However, even at those speeds, U.S. trails other countries when it comes to high-speed rails. In China, the Shanghai Maglev runs at 267 mph. Japan, Italy, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Germany and South Korea all have trains going over 200 mph. And soon Chinese travelers could go even faster. A prototype of a high-speed train unveiled recently in China is designed to carry passengers at a speed of 600 kilometers per hour, or 370 mph.