Trains For America

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Melissa Taylor Comments on Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville high speed rail and maglev

Recorded on June 18, 2009 using a Flip Video camcorder. Melissa D, Taylor is Director of Transportation Planning for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency. She comments on the Chinese maglev and developments in Tennessee.

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4 Responses

  1. Chris G says:

    AHHHH… MagLev.

    Well first off, I’m not opposed if they find a way to fund it mostly locally. I believe it can work and work well but I believe other uses of the money are more important.

    Her initial comments about how fast it is and how much distance you can cover with it are correct in what they are. But the question is cost.

    Also, i am not totally opposed with this connecting the airports of the two main cities. A “airport express” type train can connect from there to downtown.

    I just dont see this being the priority right now for large federal funding.

  2. Allan says:

    Why would it be any less of a priority than other high speed projects in the same stage of development?

  3. Chris G says:

    The extreme difference in cost per mile is why i feel it should not be prioritized at this time.

  4. Maglev should be cost-competitive with conventional high-speed rail in the Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville corridor, since it can handle much steeper grades (10%) and can bank at up to 12 degrees, meaning the tougher the terrain, the shorter the potential route maglev can take. Thus it might turn out a maglev alignment, properly designed, could even be cheaper than a rail line.

    Nobody knows exactly how much a maglev line will cost to install in the U.S., but there is good evidence its operations and maintenance costs will be 20% to 20% less than rail over time, so to dismiss maglev on a cost argument alone is being shortsighted.

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June 2009


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