There is a light at the end of the tunnel, after decades-long neglect of high-speed passenger rail infrastructure in the United States. The density of the European high-speed rail lines and the recent success of China seem to have had a positive impact. The outstanding pace in China is best demonstrated by a single statistic: they have double the length of high-speed rails than the rest of the world put together. The People's Republic of China is on the way to level up and create a parallel network to the HSR in the form of a maglev network joining the largest cities. In the United States, the most fascinating development is the possible maglev connection between Washington DC and New York, called the Northeast Maglev.
Northeast Maglev – Washington DC To NYC In One Hour
Maglev is the next rational evolutionary step for intercity travel. The energetic and competent team behind Northeast Maglev cooperates with Central Japan Railway Company to pave the way for the first magnetic levitation network in the United States. The technology by JR Central is the Superconducting Maglev (SCMaglev). It is the world’s fastest and most advanced rail technology. Traveling at 311 mph (500 km/h) it would take merely an hour to reach New York City from Washington DC. This would revolutionize travel in the Northeast Corridor as well as the concept of traveling in the whole country.
Phase One: Baltimore–Washington
Northeast Maglev aims to construct the first phase of the project to enable super-high-speed travel between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland with a stop at the Baltimore Washing International Thurgood Marshal Airport. This 15 minute-long journey is the initial project that will be extended in the future to NYC. Currently, an environmental impact statement (EIS) is being prepared for this section.
Phase Two: All The Way To New York
Eventually, the high-speed maglev train will take you from Washington DC all the way to New York in under an hour. This would make the trip quicker than flying, as it skips the need to travel from and to the airports as well as long security and waiting times. The additional stops until New York City include Wilmington, Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, and Newark Liberty International Airport.
Along the Northeast Corridor, 17% of the US population lives on a land area of just 2% of the United States. The fully-electric maglev transportation is cleaner and faster than flying. The Northeast Maglev project if realized it would be a giant leap forward for the way we travel, the economy, and the environment.
Washington DC – Baltimore Route Alternatives
Visualized below are the two route alternatives that have tunnels and elevated sections.
Europe, China, USA High-Speed Rail Map
The urgent need for a high-speed passenger rail/maglev network in the USA can be summed up by one picture. China demonstrated that HSR lines can be built quickly and efficiently if there is a will. In a race against time for climate action, HSR/maglev has an important role to reduce greenhouse gases. The need for flying between large cities can be radically reduced by the sustainable transportation alternative of high-speed rail.