The Northeast needs high-speed rail of the kind proposed by Amtrak, and despite the hefty price tag, the U.S. can afford it, writes Richard Voith of the Econsult/Fairmount Group in Philadelphia. Voith notes that low interest rates mean servicing the cost of the national debt is lower than it has been in decades. Amtrak's Acela train in the Northeast achieves true high speeds only on occasion as track curves, tunnels and other obstacles slow the average speed. Amtrak wants to spend $117 billion to upgrade rail in the region.

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