electricron wrote:Is a $2 Billion plus price tag for slow trains worth it?
I don't see it as whether a certain speed is worth a certain amount of money. I see it as whether a certain passenger volume over the life of the things that money pays for is worth the money. Speed is part of what will determine the number of passengers, but that also depends on who wants to ride from where to where, how many cars they own, what the traffic is like, how much it costs to park at their destination.... There's plenty of destinations within a five-minute walk of South Station, Back Bay (and potentially Landsdowne St.), all places where your parking spot or garage might be further from your destination than the train station and cost a lot. Trains would attract pax if total trip time was about as fast as, and less stressful than, driving with the typical traffic of the relevant time of day.
Then again, if Hartford-Boston and Worcester-NY are markets for train travel that Amtrak doesn't really serve now. Each one is possible with a change, maybe including a commuter train, but neither one is really part of anyone's marketing plan on on anyone's list of reasonable trips. Put a few trains a day over the Inland Route and those become reasonable trips. I wouldn't imagine the Inland Route competing with the NEC for people travelling between Boston and stations west of New Haven