Amtrak's new nonstop Acela train does New York to D.C. in 2:35 (or so)

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Amtrak is launching nonstop Acela service between New York and Washington, D.C., in September.

The service will get you from one city to the other in approximately 2 hours, 35 minutes—about half an hour faster than Acela Express service, the railroad claims in a news release. (Assuming that, among other things, the Portal Bridge doesn't get stuck open.)

For now, Amtrak will run one southbound train in the morning (departing New York Penn Station at 6:35 a.m.) and one northbound train (departing Washington Union Station at 4:30 p.m.) each weekday beginning on Monday, Sept. 23. 

Tickets are available now. A check of on Thursday showed the one-way fare starting at $130 for business class and $276 for first class.

"The new Acela Nonstop service will have you halfway to your New York City or D.C. destination in the time it would take you to board a flight," Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said in the release. "This new service will offer an ideal solution for travelers who want to save time and travel between city center D.C. and New York."

As with regular Acela service, Acela Nonstop will have first-class seats, a quiet car, and a food-and-beverage car. Amtrak said it will announce additional amenities closer to the launch date of the service.

"While the Acela Nonstop is currently only available once per day between [New York Penn] and [Washington Union], Amtrak will be weighing potential expansion in terms of location and frequency," Amtrak said in the release.

Nonstop service means that these trains will skip the stations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland currently served by Acela Express service.

Amtrak expects to debut its next generation of Acela trains in about two years. The France-based train builder Alstom is assembling those trains at its factory in Hornell, a town in western New York. Testing will begin later this year, Amtrak said.