Biden promises high-speed rail from New York to Scranton

President Biden made an outlandish promise Wednesday to build a high-speed rail line from New York City to his hometown of Scranton.

The president had been asked what he would differently over the next two years, confidently responding “nothing” after Democrats performed better than expected at the polls Tuesday.

Biden promises high-speed rail

A reporter had noted to Biden that despite the election outcome, some 70 percent of voters believe the country is moving in the wrong direction. Biden replied that his party’s initiatives, like the infrastructure bill, are taking time to make an impact because there aren’t enough “spades in the ground.”

He mentioned a conversation with a Pennsylvania congressman who lobbied Biden for a high-speed rail line from Scranton to New York.

“We can. First of all, it will make it a lot easier to take a lot of vehicles off the road, and we have more money in the pot now already out there that we voted for than the entire money that we spend on Amtrak, to begin with,” he said.

As is often the case with Biden, he appears to be exaggerating. Pennsylvania recently announced a $3.7 million project with the federal government to enable Amtrak service from Scranton to New York, but it will take years to complete and wouldn’t accommodate “high speed” service.

The project would allow Amtrak trains to operate at up to 80 mph, well below the 150 mph that some of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor trains — considered the only “high speed” trains in the country — operate at.

More rhetoric

The work won’t begin until next year and could take up to five years to complete.

“There’s a lot to be done. Can it be done in three to five years? If the money’s flowing, yes,” Larry Malski, president of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, said.

Even as Biden pledged to rebuild America’s physical infrastructure, Biden turned to one of his favorite subjects, the country’s moral fiber.

Preposterously enough, Biden claimed that the country had become more united on his watch, despite Tuesday’s narrowly divided election results.

“I said we’re going to restore the soul of the country,” Biden said. “Begin to treat each other with decency, honor, integrity. And it’s starting to happen.”