As Amtrak seeks to create and expand high-speed passenger train operations in the United States, the company on Thursday named Philadelphia rail expert Albrecht "Al" Engel to head its new high-speed rail department.
Amtrak's increased focus on fast trains comes as the Obama administration is pushing for a national network of true high-speed rail lines, with trains that operate at 155 m.p.h. or faster.
The administration this year gave $8 billion in stimulus funds to jump-start high-speed rail projects on 13 corridors in 31 states. It has promised $5 billion more over the next five years. Congressional advocates of high-speed rails are seeking $50 million over the next six years.