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A group of investors on Wednesday applied to the Maryland Public Service Commission to take over state franchise rights of the former Washington Baltimore & Annapolis Electric Railroad in order to build a high-speed, superconducting magnetic levitation (SCMAGLEV) rail system that would transport riders between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in 15 minutes.In its filing, Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail L.L.C. (BWR) states that the Japanese government has committed to providing $5 billion or more in financing toward the cost of building the line. In addition, the Central Japan Railway Co., which is building a SCMAGLEV line that will eventually connect Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, will transfer the SCMAGLEV technology to the project without license fees, according to the document.BWR plans to seek authority to construct the SCMAGLEV line from the Surface Transportation Board.The document did not indicate a total cost for the project. Japanese financing has been hinted at for a maglev line between the cities for some time, but Wednesday's filing was the first time that details of the financing have been revealed, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.A major shareholder in the BWR is Wayne Rogers, the chairman and chief executive officer of The Northeast Maglev, a separate company backing the project, the Sun reported.
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