According to Google Maps, to drive the most direct, 17-mile route from the New Brunswick train station to the Princeton Junction station during afternoon rush hour could take more than an hour.

New Brunswick to Princeton Junction
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Meanwhile, on a regular Amtrak Northeast Regional train, the same trek takes just 12 minutes between those two stations — or one-fifth of an hour.

Amtrak schedule
Amtrak.com screenshot
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Although Amtrak's Acela service does not stop at either station, that travel time could be cut in half again thanks to infrastructure improvements the rail company announced Tuesday.

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Part of the New Jersey High-Speed Rail Improvement Program, with a $450 million investment from the federal Department of Transportation, the upgrades to 16 miles of track between New Brunswick and South Brunswick will increase top Acela speeds through the region to 150 miles per hour, according to Amtrak.

Amtrak called it "the first of many speed upgrades" planned for the Northeast Corridor.

Additionally, new Acela trains to be rolled out in the fall of 2023 could inch that maximum speed forward to 160 miles an hour, Amtrak said.

Eight miles' worth of catenary between South Brunswick and Trenton are also currently up for improvement, with a target completion date of 2024.

Acela trains currently make New Jersey stops at Newark Penn Station, Metropark in Iselin, and Trenton.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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