"If the United States still had an open frontier, it would be a no-brainer to build the best possible surface rail transportation system to connect cities fewer than 500 miles apart. Over relatively short distances, rail makes a lot more sense than either private cars or air travel. There's no reason Maglev wouldn't be able to compete on its merits.
But the frontier has been closed in this country for a long time - especially in crowded areas such as the Northeast corridor. We have a lot of existing rail infrastructure - much of it decrepit and woefully inefficient - occupying right-of-way that is, for now, the only game in town. Maglev can be the best technology in the world, but without a strip of land a few yards wide and hundreds of miles long, it's no more than a fantasy."
Proposals for a maglev train in Baltimore have had the ears of a handful of politicians in recent years, but many argue that the area is too densely developed to have room for the train.