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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Pennsylvania progresses maglev plans


Nine months after then-U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater announced Pittsburgh-based Port Authority of Allegheny County and Maryland DOT would share $14.2 million in federal 2001 funds to refine and progress magnetic levitation plans, Port Authority of Allegheny County Oct. 18 announced plans to begin an environmental study to develop its 47-mile line.

"The initiation of this study is the next step in securing this vital transportation project for Western Pennsylvania," said Allegheny County Chief Executive Jim Roddey in a prepared statement. "It shows we are aggressive and committed to proving our region is the ideal location for the High Speed Maglev Project."

The proposed line would extend from Pittsburgh International Airport to Greensburg, Pa., with multi-modal MAGport stations at the airport, downtown Pittsburgh, Monroeville and Greensburg. An end-to-end trip would take 28 minutes.

The Port Authority is conducting the study in cooperation with PennDOT and Federal Railroad Administration; Maglev Inc. is the private for-profit company that has advanced Pennsylvania’s maglev effort for more than a decade.

The Maryland project would build a 40-mile maglev system from Baltimore’s Camden Yard and Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport to Union Station in Washington, D.C. Maryland DOT also plans to initiate an environmental study this fall.

Planners for both systems must submit a completed Environmental Impact Statement detailing ridership and revenue estimates, a preferred alignment, and other study aspects by April 2003 so that FRA may determine later that year which project will receive $950 million to construct the high-speed maglev system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/19/2001