Amtrak to test 165 mph trains

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The areas for the tests are a 21-mile stretch between Perryville, Md., and Wilmington, Del., a 22-mile railway between Trenton and New Brunswick, N.J., that currently has a maximum speed limit of 135, a 29-mile area between Westerly and Cranston, R.I., and a span of 27 miles between South Attleboro and Readville, Mass., that current tops out at 150 miles per hour.

Despite the fast limits, Republicans in the House have often criticized Amtrak's Acela service for not achieve "true" high speeds. Because the trains share tracks with Amtrak's regular service, Acela routes run as slow as 80 miles per hour in some places in the Northeast.

Amtrak has told lawmakers it has a plan to increase the speed of its trains to 220 miles per hour by 2040, but Republicans have derided the plan as unrealistic.