Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

Pennsylvania Maglev gets a study too

Thanks to the worldwide network of busy-bodies for this update on Pittsburg.

Pittsburgh also got a grant awarded this past week, along with Atlanta-Chattanooga.

At this link you’ll see a Post-Gazette article:  “Pittsburgh region gets $28 million to plan maglev project”

The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $28 million grant for preliminary work on the long-planned Pennsylvania High-Speed Maglev project.

The grant was announced this afternoon by Sens. Arlen Specer and Bob Casey, along with Rep. Mike Doyle. The project, billed as the first phase of a cross-state high speed network, would start at the Pittsburgh International Airport and travel to Downtown Pittsburgh, then to Monroeville and on to Greensburg. The grant is the largest federal commitment to the project so far, but construction would still be well into the future. The funds to be released by the FRA are for planning and other preliminary work.

“This $28 million award is the most significant development in the 29 years we’ve been working on Maglev,” Mr. Specter said in the release announcing the project.

“The vision is to have a 250 mile-an-hour train traveling from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia with intermediate stops. Such a train would be a tremendous economic boon with thousands of new jobs in the steel and construction industry and would meet our increasing demand for transportation, reduce highway congestion, improve air quality and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

“This project has the chance to help establish a world-class transportation system in Pennsylvania,” Mr Casey said. “This initiative has the potential to spur job creation while helping to improve our environment and bolster the Commonwealth’s long-term economic competitiveness.”

“I’ve been working to build a mag-lev system in Pennsylvania throughout my service in Congress,” said Congressman Mike Doyle. “I believe it could be a major new engine for job creation and economic growth in our region. It’s great to see all our hard work paying off.”

Maglev Inc. of McKeesport, the developer, has spent more than $27 million in federal and state funds since the mid-1990s. The group is close to finishing an environmental impact study on the project.

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

Tennessee to get funding for Maglev study

This showed up in my mail.

Congressman Zach Wamp announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will award $14.2 million to accelerate an environmental impact statement for a high-speed magnetic levitation, or maglev, train between Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville. The majority of the grant will be used for the studies required in the National Environmental Policy Act identifying the corridor routes and the station locations for this proposed project.

“This funding is a game changer for the prospect of high-speed rail in the southeast and dramatically increases our chances of success in the years ahead. A high-speed rail connection between Atlanta, Chattanooga and Nashville would build the infrastructure to increase economic development and bring more people to the growing Chattanooga airport,” said Congressman Wamp. “Maglev high-speed rail could change the way Americans travel, reducing congestion on crowded roads and at busy airports. These are the types of investments that will help create quality jobs, grow the U.S. economy and help our nation be more competitive.”

“These funds are a great investment as they will accelerate the project and help take us to the next level in developing alternative forms of transportation for this country. Atlanta and Chattanooga are two great cities with a bright future ahead of us, and it is exciting to see our region remain on the cutting edge of technology-based economic development,” said Jim Hall, chairman of the board of The Enterprise Center.

A joint application for the funding was filed by the Georgia Department of Transportation with support from the Tennessee Departments of Transportation. Congressman Wamp and The Enterprise Center have worked with Georgia State Senator Jeff Mullis, chairman of the Georgia Senate Transportation Committee, and others in north Georgia on regional support for the project.

A maglev train would relieve tremendous congestion in the Atlanta metro area and serve as part of a long needed intermodal mass transit system for the United States. Maglev trains can travel at more than 300 miles per hour, which would mean true high-speed ground transportation in the 116-mile corridor from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport generally along the Interstate 75 corridor to Lovell Field and Chattanooga. A recent feasibility study determined that the Atlanta-Chattanooga corridor could also extend northwest to Nashville along the Interstate 24 alignment.

Filed under: Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail

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September 2009