Fastest train in the Western Hemisphere…

I was listening to a report by CNBC with the title Why Train Tickets Cost So Much In America which has the usual introduction about what Amtrak is, and mentioning the Acela express. Of course, this cannot be called a high-speed rail, so the speaker said the fastest train in the Western Hemisphere (0:36). It is a cute circumlocution to avoid the subject of high-speed rail in the US. It is also incorrect.

There is a high-speed rail line between Casablanca and Tangier. This is real high-speed line, with maximal speed of 320 km/h (200 mph). The coordinates of Casablanca are 33.5731° N, 7.5898° W and the ones of Tangier are 35.7595° N, 5.8340° W, both lie clearly in the western hemisphere. The fastest train of the Western hemisphere is the البُراق(Al Boraq).

In fact, there are french cities that are located the Western hemisphere, and so does a good chunk of Spain, so this is not just a small oversight, but a complete misunderstanding of what the western hemisphere is, and that it is not a synonym of west of the Atlantic. I see this more a sign of very sloppy editing, claiming something false 30 seconds into the introduction, but I find it symptomatic of a view of the world where “journalists” cannot conceive that trains in Africa are better than the ones in the US…

Edit: this definition seems directly from some Amtrak blurb. In fact, the Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Longitudes 20° W and 160° E as the boundaries. Greenwich is clearly irrelevant…

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