How fast does Acela go: an experiment

I frequently take the high-speed Acela train between Washington, D.C. and New York. The train makes the trip in 2 hours and 50 minutes, and I’ve frequently wondered what speeds the train reaches. It’s easy to calculate the average speed, assuming a distance of 200 miles: just over 70 MPH. But I want to know it’s peak speed.

As it happens, I’m bringing my handheld GPS with me to NYC this weekend and I figured that provided an opportunity to get an answer to the question. Sicne the GPS can track ground speed, I can use that to track the trip and capture not only our average speed, but our maximum speed.

Once the experiment is complete, I’ll post the results.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.