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Maryland commission OKs passenger-rail franchise transfer to SCMaglev backers


The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail's (BWRR) application to acquire a long unused passenger rail franchise, which BWRR and The Northeast Maglev hope to turn into a high-speed train service between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The Northeast Maglev and BWRR announced the franchise transfer from the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad Co., which abandoned it in 1935, BWRR and Northeast Maglev officials said in a press release.

BWRR and Northeast Maglev are working to deploy a Superconducting Maglev system (SCMaglev) that would transport passengers from Baltimore to D.C. in 15 minutes.

"The transfer of this railroad franchise is an exciting first step in making this transformational project a reality," said Wayne Rogers, chairman of BWRR and chairman and chief executive officer of Northeast Maglev. "We look forward to working with federal, state and local government officials and other stakeholders to move this project forward."

In September, BWRR and Northeast Maglev opened a headquarters in Baltimore. In the coming months, the companies will focus on readying the environmental impact statement process.

The Northeast Maglev is an American company working to promote Central Japan Railway Co.'s Superconducting Maglev, the world's fastest ground transportation system, in the Northeast Corridor, officials said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to conduct studies on building a superconducting magnetic levitation train between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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