U.S. DOT Awards $28 Million to Study High Speed Rail Line in Maryland

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has awarded $28 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to support private sector efforts to bring a high-speed rail line to the Baltimore/Washington region. The high-speed rail line, known as the Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMaglev) train, will transport passengers from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minutes.

As reported by the Washington Post,

The money will support ­private-sector efforts to bring magnetic-levitation trains to the region as part of a larger vision for building a maglev system along the Northeast Corridor.

Maryland’s Department of Transportation and the state’s Economic Development Corporation applied for the federal funds in April, with an understanding that the Japanese government and Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, a private group, would provide significant investments for the project.

Building a 40-mile maglev line between Baltimore and Washington is expected to cost at least $10 billion.

According to media reports in Japan, the Japanese government has pledged $5 billion in financial backing for a Maryland line, and a Japanese train operator has said it would not charge licensing fees for the technology. The remaining funds would come from public and private sources.

Private sector support for the Baltimore-Washington SCMaglev project will come from Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, which envisions a 15-minute ride between downtown Baltimore and downtown Washington, D.C., with an interim stop at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Now that funds have been awarded, the organization can move forward with planning and engineering analysis and review compliance and permitting.

Governor’s Press Release on Awarding of SCMaglev Grant