Sunday, November 08, 2015
Maryland wins $27.8 million grant to advance DC-Baltimore high speed Maglev train
If constructed, the route would have dramatic economic development benefits, most especially for Baltimore City. Currently floundering with vast sections of vacant, abandoned properties, the City could become an appealing bedroom community for those working in the DC area who need affordable housing. Unlike light rail plans moving forward or canceled under Hogan, Maglev is competitive with auto transportation. The Maglev could reach downtown Baltimore in one-fourth the time it would take to drive there on congested I-95. Unlike light rail or BRT poking along, Maglev could actually free up highway capacity on I-95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
The grant was lauded by Gov. Hogan and other officials yesterday.
“The ability to travel between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in only 15 minutes will be absolutely transformative, not just for these two cities, but for our entire state,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement. “This grant will go a long way in helping us determine our next steps in this transportation and economic development opportunity.”
“Maryland will be on the leading edge of technology as the only state in the nation with the private-sector-led pursuit of SCMaglev,” Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn said.
Even the Japanese ambassador weighed in on the state's win.
“We are very pleased to see this funding announced,” said Japanese Ambassador Kenichirō Sasae. “Working with the United States Government, the State of Maryland and Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, we will prove that this cutting-edge Japanese technology will be a great asset to the busy Northeast Corridor.”
Such a route could ultimately extend from Washington to Boston, in line with plans already laid out by Amtrak.
Maryland's effort is being led by a private firm, Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail.
That firm will use the funds to begin planning and engineering analysis for the rail line, and to review what permits would be needed for construction.