Last night I had a conversation with a guy who works for Amtrak. We got on the subject of the TGV and Shinkansen and ICE lines in France, Japan and Germany. They all exceed 200MPH whereas the Acela here in the U.S. is limited to 150MPH or so.
Thing is I was watching videos of the TGV and I noticed something. The tracks are identical for TGV and Acela. Plus both are manufactured by Alstom .
The only difference per se between TGV and Acela are the fact that the Acela trains can bank due to the more twisty nature of track through the northeast.
But the reason the Acela trains are limited is because during the inception of the program they went out and took a bunch of politicians and dignitaries along and they got scared when the train went over 200MPH.
So in essence we here on the east coast have a system deliberately LIMITED because some idiots got scared.
Just imagine if the trains here in the U.S. could do 200MPH or more. Providence to NYC would literally be around one hour. Sure, maybe a bit more for stops in Kingston, New Haven, etc. But not much.
So let Acela run free!