WITHOUT A STOP AT WILLIMANTIC. I'm borrowing from some publicity doggerel of the old New York and New England Railroad, which operated an exclusive vestibuled train between Boston and New York City by way of Hartford and northeastern Connecticut. That train offered an improvement on previous services that required New York passengers to ride the Long Island Rail Road to somewhere on Long Island Sound, where they caught a boat to a Connecticut port.

Convoluted though those routings appear, compared to Amtrak's current Shore Line, which includes two stretches of 150 mph running on some straight stretches in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, they might have been ahead of their time. The Philadelphia Inquirer (via Midwest High Speed Rail) reports on a proposal by University of Pennsylvania students to avoid the most congested and curviest parts of the current Northeast Corridor by tunnelling under Long Island Sound and going to Boston by way of Hartford ... but north of Willimantic.

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