Maglev: Dreaming the Impossible Dream?

The idea of a magnetic levitation train has been bubbling for decades, but has yet to materialize in the U.S. Some say the idea is a pipe dream, but this column from <em>The Baltimore Sun</em> says the idea just needs the right home.
August 25, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"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.

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Published on Sunday, August 22, 2010 in The Baltimore Sun
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