NEW YORK — A sweltering heat welcomed passengers to Penn Station Saturday, Aug. 16. A massive power outage left millions without power and thousands more stranded when transportation unable to operate. Commuter rail and subways shut down leaving residents without travel options. And when power was partially restored, travel was slow and fewer trains, particularly on New Jersey Transit lines, operated. Within days, however, rail service was back to normal, with passengers being whisked across the Northeast on assorted subways and commuter trains.
At the new year of 2003, only one high-speed rail corridor was in operation in the United States – The Northeast Corridor. “Our goal with this first Acela Express train was to establish a strong initial presence between Boston and New York and based on these initial results, we are succeeding,” said former Amtrak President George D. Warrington in January 2001. “Acela Express marks the introduction of premium, limited stop Amtrak service in New England and this first roundtrip was scheduled to serve that market.” However, high-speed rail as a viable option is being considered in communities nationwide. And in