Question by dustybunny1: What is the fastest diesel train and electric train in the U.S?
It could be just the engine not the whole consist!
Answer by Alan L
There is, unfortunately, no simple answer. The fastest train in regular service in the U.S. is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which is allowed to travel 150 MPH on a stretch of track in Rhode Island. It is electric. Most other passenger trains in the country are restricted to 79 MPH, sometimes 90.
Freight trains rarely travel over 60 MPH, intermodals (trailers/containers) often do 70 on high-traffic lanes. Some even make 75.
A lite engine (running without cars) has the capability to reach very high speeds depending on its gearing and whether the track is straight and/or level. The engine only provides power and does not control speed; speed is controlled by increasing or decreasing power to the engine, same as in a car.
The record for the fastest train in the U.S. is, I believe, still held by the New York Central, which equipped a Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC) with jet engines and ran it on a 27-mile stretch in Ohio. The car reached 186 MPH, but was eventually deemed impractical and the experiment was not repeated.
What do you think? Answer below!