Trains For America

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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

6 Responses

  1. MadPark says:

    Sad waste of time and money on a less than useful and non-interoperable transport “system”. Yo! Barack and LaHood – more rail, please, ASAP!

  2. Loren Petrich says:

    As with Atlanta-Chattanooga, let’s hope that this study includes a study of more-typical high-speed lines. Steel-wheel trains are slower than maglevs, but they are not much slower, and they require much less expensive infrastructure.

    I checked on populations and distances, and while Philly-Pitt is somewhat greater than Atlanta-Nashville, Philly > Atlanta and Pitt > Nashville in population and rail-transit development. Furthermore, Pennsylvania has been supporting intercity rail service, while Georgia and Tennessee have not been.

  3. Allan says:

    Which is the more interoperable transport system … buses or trains? On that logic, we should give up all passenger rail transportation because buses are more “interoperable” with existing systems.

    It’s called intermodal …

  4. In the Pittsburgh area, program sponsors decided on a maglev solution in 1988 due to the demanding terrain, especially between the airport and downtown. They’ve been working on it ever since, and it’s funny, nobody from that area’s ever mentioned interoperability with trains as an issue…

  5. Mad Park says:

    As always, Yonah provides a well reasoned rebuttal to the starry-eyed dreamers:

  6. Jakub Holic says:

    “Steel-wheel trains are slower than maglevs, but they are not much slower, and they require much less expensive infrastructure.”
    – not exactely. Maglev infrastructure is not much more expensive then HSR. The advantage is not just high speed. It is also high acceleration, much cheaper maintenance and much lower energy consumption. Ability to climb at 10% grade, more quiet run, less land requirements. With high acceleration, it can have more stops on the way, then HSR. And it is also a tourist atraction.

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September 2009


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