A $27.8 million study has been approved by the US government to assess the possibility of building a Maglev train system between New York and Washington DC. The proposed route would transport passengers between the two cities in just an hour, with stops at Philadelphia, Baltimore and airports along the route. The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration has approved a grant of $27.8 million to the private company behind the plans, Northeast Maglev, to further study the technology which could proper North Eastern corridor passengers at over 500 kilometres per hour (300 mph).
Maglev (derived from magnetic levitation) uses magnetic levitation to move vehicles without touching the ground, instead travelling along a guideway using magnets to create both lift and propulsion. This significantly reduces friction and allows very high speeds. Despite growing competition from other nations, in particular China, Japan has reiterated its role as the leaders in Maglev technology, and broke their own land-speed record in April of this year with a train belonging to the Central Japan Railway Company (CJR) hit a speed of 603km/h (375 mph/h).
And this month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has been in Japan and rode a Maglev train belonging to the Central Japan Railway Company. “It is obviously a testament to the great research of many people here in this country, to see this marvel of transportation,” Mr. Foxx told reporters after the ride.
It’s Japan who have been keen to support the development of Maglev technology in the USA being best placed to profit from it. And in January 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, on a visit to the USA offered to provide loans for half the estimated $8 billion (£5bn) it would cost to install a Maglev line in the North Eastern Corridor of the USA, the most congested transportation region in the country.
Officials of Northeast Maglev (TNEM), who aim to build the line, told the Wall Street Journal that the federal funding will be used for planning and engineering analysis, and environmental and safety reviews among other things. TNEM is a U.S.-owned company based in Washington, DC and are working closely with the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), which has led development of the Superconducting Maglev SCMAGLEV system since its formation in 1987. JR Central also operates the world’s premier high-speed rail line between Tokyo and Osaka, serving more than 140 million passengers a year.
If you liked reading about the proposed NY-DC Maglev line may also be interested in: