A Fashionable Rivalry: Brightline vs. Amtrak Acela

An Unforgettable Journey Comparing the Only Two High-Speed Trains in the US, Brightline and Amtrak's Acela, Revealing the Ultimate Convenience.

I tested the US’ 2 high-speed trains, Brightline and Amtrak’s Acela. Let’s compare and see which is more convenient.

Selfies of the author on Amtrak and Brightline. Selfies of the author on Amtrak and Brightline – Taylor Rains/Insider

Fashion lovers, buckle up! We’re about to embark on a stylish journey as we compare two high-speed trains in the United States. Picture this: the 125-mph Brightline gracefully gliding along the picturesque Florida coast while the 150-mph Amtrak Acela races through the bustling Northeast Corridor. It’s a battle of the rails, and I’m here to spill all the fashionable details.

First on the runway is the Brightline, which made its grand entrance in September as Florida’s latest high-speed rail network. With a top speed of 125 mph, it covers an impressive 235 miles between Miami and Orlando. But does it truly embody the essence of high-speed travel? As a fashion aficionado, I have my doubts.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the Acela, Amtrak’s supercharged train zooming at 150 mph along the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC, and Boston. I recently had the pleasure of hopping aboard both trains to see how they stack up, and let me tell you, the Acela truly brings the high-speed flair we desire.

But before we dive into the juicy details, let me remind you, my fellow fashionistas, that appearances aren’t everything. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? That being said, let’s board the fashion express and uncover all the stylish secrets of these two trains.

Chic Comfort and Exquisite Amenities

A woman in a pink shirt boarding the Acela train. Boarding the Acela train in Philadelphia – Taylor Rains/Insider

When it comes to style and comfort, the Acela steals the spotlight. Picture elegant, plush seats that cradle you like a designer handbag, complete with a footrest for that added touch of luxury. The darker color scheme inside the Acela oozes sophistication, complemented by big, secure overhead luggage bins to keep your belongings fashionably organized.

Brightline, on the other hand, offers a sleek, modern vibe, with slim seats and a vibrant ambiance. Admittedly, it lacks a footrest, which can be a game-changer on long journeys. However, it redeems itself with an abundance of power ports strategically placed for your charging convenience. Fashion-forward and functional!

The Need for Speed

Amtrak Acela Amtrak’s newest Acela cars on a test run – Amtrak

Now, darlings, let’s address the elephant in the room: speed. A true high-speed train should leave you breathless with its sheer velocity. While Brightline reaches a respectable 125 mph along certain segments, its overall travel time doesn’t shave off much compared to driving. Google Maps tells us that a drive between the stations takes roughly three hours and 20 minutes, just 20 minutes less than the train ride.

Ah, but wait! Enter the Acela, dashing through the Northeast Corridor like a supermodel on the runway. The Acela’s swift pace slices through travel time, making it a time-saving marvel. Imagine zooming from Philadelphia to Stamford, Connecticut, in just two hours, leaving the stresses of New York City traffic behind. Google Maps estimates a two-and-a-half-hour drive, but who wants to deal with congested streets and narrow lanes when you can enjoy a hassle-free, quick ride in style?

The Price Tag and Fashionable Affordability

The ticket kiosks at the Brightline station. The ticket kiosks at the Brightline station in Orlando – Taylor Rains/Insider

Now, my trendsetting fashionistas, let’s talk about the price of these fabulous train adventures. Brightline offers a range of fares, but the one-way “smart” ticket will set you back $79. While it may be more convenient than battling traffic or catching a flight, is it worth the splurge? As a self-proclaimed queen of style, I’m not convinced.

On the other end of the runway, we have the Acela. Picture this: a mere $40 for a two-hour journey that leaves you feeling like the epitome of luxury. Of course, prices can vary, but with a bit of luck and savvy planning, you can score that coveted first-class seat without breaking the bank. With complimentary meals, drinks, and a more comfortable setting, the Acela becomes the fashionista’s preferred mode of transportation.

The Final Verdict: Acela Takes the Crown

A selfie of the author on Amtrak. A selfie of the author on Amtrak – Taylor Rains/Insider

In the world of high-speed trains, the Acela reigns supreme. With its stylish aesthetics, time-saving capabilities, and affordable fares, it captures the essence of fashionable travel. Sure, Brightline has its charm, offering comfort and convenience along the sunny Florida coast. But when it comes to embodying the true spirit of high-speed rail, the Acela is a showstopper.

So, my dear fashionistas, if you find yourself in the bustling Northeast, embrace the Acela experience. Let it whisk you away to your destination in style, leaving the chaos of traffic and city life behind. If you’re a Florida native, consider Brightline for its vibrant ambiance and practicality, particularly when avoiding congested highways. Remember, fashion is subjective, and your preferences may differ from mine. Ultimately, choose the train that reflects your personal style and fulfills your travel needs.

Now, it’s time to hear from you! Have you had the pleasure of riding on these high-speed beauties? Share your fashion-forward experiences in the comments below. Let’s keep the fashion conversation rolling!