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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Amtrak is pushing the pedal to the metal in test runs this week and next. It could result in shorter train rides from Philly to New York, DC, and Boston.

Held up by a 135mph speed limit from Trenton to New Brunswick, the Acela Express can go faster.

“Once these tests are done successfully,” says Spokesman Cliff Cole. “Amtrak plans to operate through that location at a new high operating speed of 160 miles per hour.”

Cole says there are some other locations Amtrak also hopes to break the current top speeds: from northeast Maryland to Wilmington (135mph) and in parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts (150mph).

“Amtrak has a vision plan for the entire corridor to reduce overall trip times where you can go from New York to Washington in under three hours,” he says.

If this speed test proves the limit can be raised, travel times might see a modest drop, but one that comes a lot faster and cheaper than that three-decade, $151-billion plan.

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