New York to Boston, station to station

We've covered any number of races involving Tesla vehicles over the years, but we've never encountered one quite like this. In an interesting experiment, The Drive pitted the Tesla Model 3 against the Amtrak Acela Express in a long distance race from New York to Boston, starting and ending, naturally, at those cities' respective train stations. Why this high-speed electric train? Well, Because, as trains in America go, it's an electron-munching, high-tech machine; the rail equivalent, in some (admittedly nebulous) way, of the mid-sized sedan from the Silicon Valley automaker.

Of course, being put into service in December of 2002, this is no spring chicken of a train (the service will be getting an updated version starting in 2021), but it can hit 150 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the infrastructure only allows the Acela Express to hit that pace for relatively short distances.

Its competitor, the Tesla, can go even faster, with some variants of the car able to hit 155 MPH. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), we have laws in this country that prohibit people from driving their cars at those speeds on public roads. Given the circumstances, though, both train and electric car should take about four hours to make the trip, provided there isn't bad traffic for the car or delays of whatever sort for the train.

We've embedded the story just above and don't want to spoil the ending for you here. We can say it's an enjoyable watch and will keep you guessing. One thing the piece does do is underline just how bad our passenger rail service is in this country. Japan, for instance, has had high-speed rail since the mid-1960's to connect a number of its cities to its capital.

The Japanese bullet trains now travel at 200 MPH for some distances and, unlike our  Acela Express, provides for an eerily smooth ride at its top speed. With a ridership of over 400 million, it also keeps a lot of passenger cars off its highways, which provides for a number of benefits: pollution is reduced, less spending is needed for highway expansion, etc. And, while attempts at new high-speed rail services continue to flounder in the United States, Japan, France, and China continue to push boundaries of speed and technology.

Source: The Drive