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A maglev line between Washington and Baltimore makes almost as much sense as flying between Washington and Baltimore.

The intent seems to be, as I understand it, to use a freely-provided WAS-BAL line as a loss leader to sell the US on a WAS-NYP (and, apparently, possibly WAS-BOS) line. Like a lot of project first phases (CAHSR, I'm looking at you), the initial phase really only makes sense as part of a bigger project.

 

Edit: Though I can't help but wonder what the effects of being able to pop between downtown DC and downtown Baltimore in something like 20 minutes would be. Considering that the IOS would need to be priced to fill up a decent number of seats on just a short section...

 

 

If you want to pay $40-$50 for a one way ticket you can already pop between BAL and WAS in 30 minutes using an antiquated technology called the "Acela Express." For less than half the rpice, you can ride down in 30 minutes in #79, the "CarolinIan," a non-Acela train that does the run non stop. The regionals all stop at BWI and New Carrolton and take 40 minutes. The MARC local takes an hour.

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Guest guest

We can't afford a fresh carnation in a bud vase, and we're seriously discussing maglev? :)

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Different funding source. The Japanese are simply looking for a place to spend their excess dollars at for almost any non-negative return over 40 years. :) Incidentally they have also been funding massive infrastructure projects in dollar denominated funding in places like India and other developing countries of late too. Allegedly they are willing to fund close to entire development of classic HSR on specific routes in India. They are funding a substantial portion of Kolkata's Metro Line 2 and other similar projects in other cities. So if anything happens in this Maglev thing US will merely be joining a long line of infrastructure projects that the Japanese have been aggressively funding, though not as aggressively as the Chinese perhaps, almost everywhere.

Edited by jis

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And like deja vu all over again, except:

1)The Japanese govt. is now 'committed' to investing $5 Billion in the project. (whatever this really means)

 

2)On Wednesday, Sept. 3, '14 Washington Rapid Rail LLC submitted an application to the Maryland Public Service Commission for the project.

 

3)(The item I love the most) Rapid Rail is asking state regulators to transfer the franchise rights of the former Washington Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad!!! Really? The franchise rights of the old WB&A? I could rant and rave about this for a spell, but I'll TRY to contain myself to a few items: a)B'more's light rail uses part of the old WB&A right of way, b)the WB&A was basically an interurban line, and c) From this history of the WB&A :

The WB&A absorbed two older railroads, the Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad and the Baltimore & Annapolis Short Line, and added its own electric streetcar line between Baltimore and Washington. It was built by a group of Cleveland, Ohio, electric railway entrepreneurs to serve as a high-speed, showpiece line using the most advanced technology of the time. [emphasis added]

 

Hmmmmm... Its like deja vu deja vuing all over again!

 

 

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system...

 

From this story at WTOP:

A company has proposed building a high-speed train that could go from Baltimore to Washington in about 15 minutes.

Washington Rapid Rail LLC submitted an application to the Maryland Public Service Commission on Wednesday.

The filing says the Japanese government has committed to provide $5 billion or more toward the cost of building the first leg. The filing also says that the Central Japan Railway Co. has agreed to waive any licensing fees for its "maglev" train technology.

Maglev trains use magnets to float over rail guideways.

Rapid Rail is asking state regulators to transfer the franchise rights of the former Washington Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad.

The commission regulates common carriers that engage in the public transportation of people for hire.

Edited by The Davy Crockett

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I find it interesting that JR Central wants to invest in "standard HSR" in Texas while the Japanese government wants to invest up in the DC area with the maglev...with JR Central's technology. I know it's two different techs and two different efforts, but I'm really surprised at them chasing both efforts like this.

Edited by Anderson

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I find it interesting that JR Central wants to invest in "standard HSR" in Texas while the Japanese government wants to invest up in the DC area with the maglev...with JR Central's technology. I know it's two different techs and two different efforts, but I'm really surprised at them chasing both efforts like this.

Two different areas though and the technology best suited to each.

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I find it interesting that JR Central wants to invest in "standard HSR" in Texas while the Japanese government wants to invest up in the DC area with the maglev...with JR Central's technology. I know it's two different techs and two different efforts, but I'm really surprised at them chasing both efforts like this.

Two different areas though and the technology best suited to each.

Actually Dallas Houston would be more suited to Maglev than Washington Baltimre. Since the Washington Baltimore run time is already down to 30 minutes most of the travel time is already consumed getting from origin to system starting piont and system ending point to destination. Baltimore Washington would be little better than the Shanghai Airport line which simply accelerates half the trip and decellerates half the trip. On a trip this short you are simply reaching diminishing returns.

 

A little quick math: If, and that is IIF, you go to 500 mph, Washington Baltimore, if you take the straight line distance of 36 miles (maybe plus or minus 1 or 2), and at 10% of gravity acceleration and braking, the time is 9 minutes, which is about as fast as possible. How much money will you spend to save 20 minutes? Most likely near none unless the wait time at start or end is significant.

 

If you go 500 mph Dallas to Houston, taking a distance of 240 miles, at 10% of gravity acceleration and braking, the time is 33 minutes, which is about an hour less than the probably high speed rail time. It is also less than plane gate to gate time. For this people might spend more money.

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Washington-Baltimore is being intended as an initial segment of a longer line though, that's how they intend to recoup the free line costs.

 

As for 500mph, the top recorded maglev speed is 361mph.

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Guest Andrew

You never know!!

 

The Japanese are into this, and with a large RRIF loan--and a stop at BWI-- this could become a large reality...

 

How would Amtrak fit into this?

 

 

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You never know!!

 

The Japanese are into this, and with a large RRIF loan--and a stop at BWI-- this could become a large reality...

 

How would Amtrak fit into this?

 

 

As opposed to a small reality?

 

And how about you tell us how you think Amtrak would fit into this.

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I know the maglev top speed is well under 500 mph. I picked that number because it gets you the shortest run time at all likely between Washington and Baltimore using a reasonably comfortable acceleration and braking rate. If you picked 360 mph or 400 mph it would only add a minute or two to the Balto-Wash run time. I don't think it would make any difference worth mentioning to the public to Houston-Dallas time, either. You would still be under an hour. For Dallas Houston, an 186 mph speed (that is 300 kph) as used in Taiwan says you could do it in 90 to 95 minutes.



I still think for us Maglev is a solution looking for a problem.


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You never know!!

 

The Japanese are into this, and with a large RRIF loan--and a stop at BWI-- this could become a large reality...

 

How would Amtrak fit into this?

We will only know aftrer an EIS is done whether it even qualifies for an RRIF loan, if at all.

 

Amtrak does not fit into this. It is a private operation with funding from JR Central and the Japan Government. If it actually succeeds it will put Amtrak out of business on the NEC eventually. But the likelihood of that happening is relatively low in my reckoning. I tend to agree with George on this. If a straight enough ROW for a 500mph Maglev can be found a 250mph regular train will be cheaper on it and will provide more direct point A to point B connectivity than a Maglev restricted to travel only on Maaglev track.

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If they are going to receive federal funds it need an EIS. Thus was passed into law at the behest of various organizations that make billions generating EISs under the guise of environmental protection.

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I still think for us Maglev is a solution looking for a problem.

 

 

 

Agreed. having ridden the line in Shanghai I was certainly not thinking to myself oh wow this is definitely the future of land transportation.

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What does an EIS have to do with a RRIF loan?

RRIF loan is federal funds, and federal funds require EIS. That is the reason AAF is doing an EIS in order to get an RRIF loan.

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So far as I can tell, the main use of EIS has been as a weapon by people opposed to a project to stop. Many times the claims have been downright silly. One of the favorites is to claim that the project will impact or destroy the last known habitat of some critter no one has ever heard of, and no one has ever seen anywhere near the location of the project.

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So far as I can tell, the main use of EIS has been as a weapon by people opposed to a project to stop. Many times the claims have been downright silly. One of the favorites is to claim that the project will impact or destroy the last known habitat of some critter no one has ever heard of, and no one has ever seen anywhere near the location of the project.

 

For example... Purple Line May Be Held Up...By Shrimp!

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Since almost everything revolves around money these days, has a direct cost comparison been done between Maglev and decent HSR (let's say Acela top speed for now)? In particular, I'd be interested in the cost differences on each of the following:



How much to build? (knowing that HSR at least marginally exists already in the NEC)


How much to run?


How much to maintain track and equipment?


How much to replace rolling stock (if needed for Maglev, not sure if the equipment ever wears out but I'd imagine at least some does)?


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The answers to those questions are not simple and straightforward. Afterall we are talking engineering issues under various different situations. If you are really interested in exploring this further you could start with this relatively well written paper:

 

https://www.thetransitcoalition.us/LargePDFfiles/maglev-EvalandComparisonHSR.pdf

 

And yes Maglev equipment wears out just like anything else. It is the track and levitation system. Just because things don;t touch does not mean they don't come under stress. They do have to be maintained and replaced like anything else.

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Going through the report referenced by jis, it has several significant points:

 

Time savings are minimal.

Cost differences appear to be understated.

Energy consumption is higher, according to some, much higher.

Promotion of the technology appears to be driven primarily by suppliers of the technology, not by transportation agencies, and appears to be oriented to obtaining the maximum amount of public funds for the development with little to no private money involved.

Edited by George Harris

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^^^ What he said. MD does a lot of things right, Hogan ain't one of them.

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But newfangled gadgetbahn (at least in terms of its existence in the US) is always more exciting than the tried and true. Just don't mention that it will cost, what, 10 times more :P

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