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That D.C.-Baltimore Maglev Concept: An Update
With the potential to rival airliners for speed, maglev trains are something of a pipe dream in this country. Joe Fox writes, "Superconducting maglev trains ('SCMAGLEV,' to be even more precise) are a rail technology that eschews rails, instead sitting within a concrete guideway. Trains are surrounded by superconducting magnets on each side, causing them to 'float' in the guideway."
Despite a lack of American high-speed rail savvy, backers near the nation's capital are eyeing the concept. "The Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR) organization held a series of open houses across the region in December to showcase the work that they have done so far, and solicit general public comment on their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)."
The prospect of a 15-minute ride from D.C. to Baltimore is compelling, and the plan envisions an extension to New York City. But who puts up the money? "The Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) has offered to pay half the cost of the D.C.-to-Baltimore line. The remainder of the initial funding would come from a yet-to-be-identified mix of (American) federal, state, and private sources."