Maglev Train Proposal Promises 15 Minute Ride From Baltimore To D.C.


super-maglev-trainWith President Obama failing to launch a national high-speed rail network, it may take some outside help to jumpstart our HSR ambitions. Japan has stepped in offering to provide half of the loans required to build a 37-mile maglev train between Baltimore and our national capital, Washington D.C. The saddest part? How happy officials are to have the help.

Even though the journey covers less than 40 miles, the current rail network takes more than an hour to make the trip between the two cities. In most cases, it’s quicker to drive, though finding (and paying for) a parking spot is a headache, nevermind the infamous Beltway traffic. Even so, Americans deserve a better train network, and thanks to Japan, we may get it.

The rail system is estimated to cost about $8 billion, and the Japanese government is willing to provide low-interest loans to cover half the cost, about $4 billion. Of course there is an ulterior motive here, and Japan hopes to showcase its “Super-Maglev” train system, which connects the country with high-speed trains at fairly affordable prices. America’s only other high-speed rail project in California is currently facing a number of issues, including a lack of funding, and Republican governors colluded to put a halt to Obama’s MidWest ambitions, putting the U.S. back at square one. This isn’t the first offer of outside help America has had from countries where high-speed rail is both popular and profitable, and it’s about time we swallowed our pride and got some help getting this thing going.

The system proposed by the Japanese government could cut the trip down from an hour to just 15 minutes, saving passengers a ton of time, while providing a real-world example that high-speed rail can work in the United States. Haters gonna hate, but with Japan offering the split the cost on a small-but-important showcase project, perhaps this can restart our nation’s hope for a genuine high-speed rail network.

Just don’t hold your breath.

Source: The Telegraph

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A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Jason Carpp

    With something like this, it’d probably take 5 hrs to get from Seattle, Washington (where I’m from) to San Francisco.

    • StefanoR99

      Actually conventional TGV would take around 5 hours for that journey which rivals door to door for air travel. Pity is, all the tech is already there, the money is already there, it’s the politics that lets us down time and time again.

      • Jason Carpp

        I agree. Why do we even rely on politicians to do anything? All they do is lie and bullshit.

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  • drizd

    On the down side this thing would be a terrorists dream come true. Just like an airliner that is always within range and you don’t even need an expensive hard to get missile that may or may not do the job. 5lbs of C4 or Semtex on the track remote detonated at the right moment (very easy nowdays) and you have an instant disaster. Lets not make it too easy for them not to mention things like washouts and vehicles stuck on tracks. No thanks.