Maryland Governor Larry Hogan took a trip to Yamanashi to try out Japan’s record-breaking Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) bullet train. Travelling with him were executives from the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail LLC (BWRR), who, after enjoying a 27-mile-long ride, headed back to Baltimore with the intention of bringing the technology stateside.

maglev“There is no question that this is the future of transportation,” Hogan said.

The train can travel upwards of 374 miles per hour (590 kilometers per hour) but maintained a speed of 314 mph for Hogan’s trip.

Govenor Hogan announced that the state Maryland applied for a grant for US$27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) funds. The Japanese government will heavily back the project with a reported US$5 billion, as well as private investors. It does not require funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Maryland Transportation Trust Fund. Both MDOT and and Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) are co-applicants for the grant on behalf of BWRR.

The FRA has turned down Maryland’s request for funds in 2010, stating a maglev project was “not ready.”

1365182l (1)The funding was set up specifically to bring Maglev technology to the United States, including from Washington D.C. to Baltimore. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe already announced his desire to financially support bringing Maglev to the U.S., including a line from New York to Washington D.C. and has spoke with California Gov. Jerry Brown to set-up a high-speed railway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and is pushing trains to link Houston and Texas. Abe and Hogan met previously and both parties signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) that included provisions on Maglev trains.

If completed, the rail line would deliver passengers from Baltimore to Washington D.C. in 15 minutes. The overall cost of implementing the railway is unknown but estimated at least US$10 billion. The cost of the planned line from Tokyo and Nagoya is estimated at US$50 billion but it has the added cost of tunneling through the Japanese countryside’s mountains.

Thanks to Kun Sun Sweeley for the news tip.

Source: The Washington Post

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