Hogan Is Interested in a Maglev Line Between Baltimore and D.C.

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Gov. Larry Hogan has applied for $27.8 million in federal money to put toward studying a magnetic-levitation railway to connect Baltimore to D.C.

That technology is popular in Japan, where a maglev train recently broke the land speed record for rail vehicles, traveling at 375 miles per hour. (The record it broke was one that it had set less than a week before.) Hogan reportedly went 314 mph on his maglev train ride in Japan on his trade visit to Asia.A Baltimore-D.C. maglev line would get from Point A to Point B in something like 15 minutes.

It’s a little strange that Hogan would be psyched about a maglev line, which could cost $10 billion total to build (and which even after Japan puts up $5 billion is still a lot of money), when he’s been so critical of the Purple Line for being too expensive.

Also, if you’ve been paying attention you’ll no doubt have noticed that this is not the first time the idea of high-speed maglev travel between D.C. and Baltimore (and beyond) has been floated. So far, the futuristic allure has always run up against practicality. And it’s enough to turn even the most fervent maglev enthusiast into a naysayer.

“It would make no sense to build such a high-speed system unless you are going to go further, presumably at least to New York if not to Boston,” John Harding, the former chief maglev scientist at the Federal Railroad Administration, told WAMU. “It would be very hard to imagine that the ridership and fares would be sufficient to support such an expensive system, because obviously there are other alternatives which I would think would be much less expensive.”

But, hey, we’re the only ones applying for that $27.8 million so might at least get that.



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