Years ago, Adam Susaneck, a Columbia University grad student studying architecture and urban planning at the time, submitted “The Greater Northeast Corridor” train route as an academic exercise for one of his classes at Columbia. Now, his proposed train route is blowing our minds and we desperately want to make it happen!
What’s the Greater Northeast Corridor train route?
The Greater Northeast Corridor is a hypothetical high-speed train route that would stop along seven major travel hubs circulating the Northeastern area of North America, spanning across both the U.S. and Canada.
The train route would start at Washington D.C. the southernmost city of the route and continue in the following order counterclockwise: Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and Detroit.
These major cities would serve as the principal stops on the path of the Greater Northeast Corridor’s “express” train, whereas there would be 22 stops in additional, smaller cities along the path that would be considered part of the path for the “local” train.
Would The Greater Northeast Corridor be faster than flying?
This hypothetical train line would run on what is called “maglev” technology, which means that uses magnets to travel at immense speeds that can exceed 350 mph, which is less than the full speed of a standard commercial airliner, but it’s not slow! Plus, if you take into consideration all the additional time, effort, and discomfort that comes with flying these days, this train is just as quick (depending on the destination) and much more comfortable.
Assuming the use of this cutting-edge transportation technology, this hypothetical train route projects that you could complete the full loop, visiting all seven of those core cities listed above, in less than 5 hours!
Here’s how the travel would break down if you went East from D.C.:
- Washington D.C. to Philadelphia – 21 minutes
- Washington D.C. to New York City – 39 minutes
- Washington D.C. to Boston – 72 minutes
- Washington D.C. to Montreal – 128 minutes
Here’s how the travel would break down if you went West from D.C.:
- Washington D.C. to Detroit – 72 minutes
- Washington D.C. to Toronto – 106 minutes
Why take the Greater Northeast Corridor when you could fly?
First, the environment; traveling by plane is a much more environmentally impactful form of transportation. Planes simply pollute more and have higher carbon emissions whereas this magnetically powered train would have practically zero emissions once it’s up and running. Second, it would cut down drastically on congestion at the local airports of the Northeast Corridor, according to Adam’s projections there are over 600 daily flights between the cities that would be accessible via this proposed train route.
Realistically, knowing that you could get from Washington D.C. to Montreal in less than an hour and a half while sitting on a comfy train, would you still want to have to deal with lines at the airport and put up with all of the fuss of getting to and from the airport?
Is this Greater Northeast Corridor train route ever going to be built?
Sadly, it doesn’t seem very probable that this train route will be constructed anytime soon, that is if it ever gets built at all. That being said, it’s definitely not going to stop us from dreaming about hopping on a quick train to Philidelphia just to get authentic cheesesteaks for lunch or taking the train to Montreal every other weekend!