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With New England Trains, ‘High-Speed’ Is Relative

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — To passengers looking forward to riding high-speed trains in New England, planners have a message: Not so fast.

Washington is spending $8 billion in federal stimulus money to establish high-speed rail corridors nationwide. But in populated areas of New England where city streets and railroad tracks intersect and trains must negotiate curves, hills and tunnels, travel at speeds as high as 150 mph are out of the question.

As early as this decade, passengers will instead board trains moving at between 65 mph and 80 mph. That’s slower than true high-speed trains.

Planners say trains moving at less than 100 mph should accomplish their main goal: drawing motorists from gas-guzzling, carbon-emitting cars in stop-and-go highway traffic.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)