Amtrak's Northeast Corridor (NEC), the track that links Boston to Washington, is one of the most traveled routes in America. But it's far from the fastest worldwide. In fact, compared with train service in a number of other countries, it's downright pokey.

Amtrak’s infrastructure “continues to age and suffers” from underfunding, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman stated in the company's 2014 report. To be sure, the railroad has invested in modernizing its equipment. In May 2013, Amtrak spent $466 million on 70 new electric locomotives built by Siemens that offer greater efficiency and increased speed. But the trains are heavier and, with top speeds of 150 mph on the NEC, much slower than some of those overseas. 

New U.S. investment in high-speed train service is behind the launch of the California High-Speed Rail, a train that will connect San Francisco and Los Angeles at speeds of 200 mph. Additionally, a Washington-based company called Northeast Maglev is “developing detailed plans” for a train between New York and D.C. that uses superconducting magnetic levitation technology to reach speeds of more than 300 miles per hour while levitating inches above the ground, the Washington Post reports.

Still, the U.S. rail network overall remains outdated and underfunded. In the wake of the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia Tuesday night, we took a look at the most trafficked routes overseas to see how their trains compare (images from Reuters). 

Northeast_Regional_152_(12384830114) Amtrak released its newest locomotive ACS-64 in 2013, spending $6.7 million per train. Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

U.S. Northeast Corridor: Boston > New York > Washington, D.C.

Cities Sprinter, ACS-64,  electrified passenger rail line built by Siemens

Built: 2013

Ridership: 11.6 million per year

Rail length: 453.3 miles

Top Speed: 150 mph

Time: 4 hours

China Jinghu High Speed Railway A high-speed train driver prepares to depart from Shanghai Hongqiao railway station in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

China Jinghu High-Speed Railway: Beijing > Shanghai

CRH380A, electric train built by China South Locomotive

Built: 2011

Ridership: 100 million per year

Rail length: 819 miles

Top Speed: 186 mph

Time: 5 hours

Japan Shinkansen Train A Japanese bullet train, or Shinkansen, speeds past temporary housing. Photo: Reuters

Japan Shinkansen: Tokyo > Osaka

E3 series, high-speed electric train built by Kawasaki

Built: 2005

Ridership: 150 million per year

Rail length: 260 miles

Top Speed: 200 mph

Time: 2 hours

Germany InterCity Express An ICE (intercity Express) high-speed train of German rail Deutsche Bahn stops at a closed platform due to heavy winds at the main station of the western German city of Dortmund January 18, 2007 Photo: Reuters

Germany InterCity Express: Paris > Frankfurt

ICE 3, high-speed electric train built by Siemens

Built: 1999

Ridership: 77 million per year (all ICE trains)

Rail length: 375 miles

Top Speed: 198 mph

Time: 4 hours

South Korea Gyenongbu Railway A South Korean KTX train (L) prepares to depart for Pusan city at the Seoul railway station April 1, 2004. South Korea's first high-speed railway service began before dawn on Thursday when a sleek, French-designed bullet train slipped out of Seoul bound for the southern port city of Pusan, now less than three hours away. Photo: Reuters

South Korea Gyeongbu Railway: Seoul > Busan

Korail Class 8200, high-speed electric train built by Hyundai Rotem

Built: 2004

Ridership: 62 million per year

Rail length: 259 miles

Top Speed: 190 mph

Time: 3 hours

Eurostar Route London Eurostar trains stand at St Pancras International Station in London, January 17, 2015. Photo: Reuters

UK Eurostar Route: London > Paris

British Rail Class 373, high-speed electric train built by France's Alstom

Built: 2009

Ridership: 10 million per year

Rail length: 307 miles

Top Speed: 186 mph

Time: 2 hours