Magnetic levitation, or Maglev, is a proven ultra high speed ground transportation technology which is known as flying on the ground. Powered by electricity, the vehicles levitate above the guideway and are propelled by magnets on a cushion of air at speeds up to 310 miles per hour. The 1997 federal transportation bill provided the funding for a series of studies for implementing Maglev in the Baltimore-Washington Corridor with the goal of creating a Maglev system for the entire Northeast Corridor linking cities and airports between Washington and Boston to the north and Charlotte to the south. The project has a federally approved Draft Environmental Impact Statement that can be seen at: www.bwmaglev.com. The project has also submitted a draft of the Final Impact Statement to the federal government.
The need for such a system is evident. The Baltimore-Washington Corridor will grow by 50 percent to 11 million people by 2040 and the entire Northeast Corridor will add an additional 20 million people by 2050. With current levels of congestion, a new, safe, very high speed system that is energy efficient and environmental benign will be needed to keep people and goods moving efficiently. In the early years of operation, the Maglev will reduce 18,000 daily auto trips saving over 22,000 gallons of gas a day. In a year it will save 1 trillion BTUs of energy.
Maglev promises to be a catalyst for significant economic development, complementing many of Baltimore’s existing redevelopment initiatives, efforts to increase technology jobs, downtown housing and our tourism and convention business. A report on the Economic Impact of the project can be found at: Final Report-Maglev Regional Economic Impact – December 2003. For further background on the project and the technology, (Click on Maglev in the Northeast .)
On behalf of the City of Baltimore, BDC has been coordinating this regional effort since its inception working with the Departments of Transportation for Maryland and Washington, DC, the business community, and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) which has managed all phases of the Maglev studies.
For more information, please contact Phyllis Wilkins, Executive Director of Maglev Maryland for Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC).