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Japanese JR-Maglev  (Source: Yosemite)
Government funnels $45M into maglev proposal.

President Bush signed a transportation bill that will help fund a high speed maglev train between Disneyland and Las Vegas. The initial $45M investment will be used for environmental studies to evaluate construction impact on one portion of the proposed maglev route.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., showed support of the project and said the maglev train "will safely and efficiently move people between southern California and Las Vegas."

As more nations begin to roll out maglev train systems, critics in the U.S. grow increasingly frustrated over the lack of support of organized high speed trains in the United States.

With speeds up to 300 MPH, the maglev train will be able to transport passengers between the two locations, about 250 miles apart, in less than two hours. Most drivers who go from the Los Angeles or Anaheim area to Las Vegas are forced to take Interstate 15, but the highway routinely is clogged with gridlock during rush hour.

Congress must now choose the maglev system over other train projects under consideration by the government, including a diesel-electric train that was proposed after a 2005 funding mishap that delayed the Disneyland-Las Vegas line. Japan was the first nation to launch a diesel-hybrid train system, but the train was twice as expensive to build as a regular train.

The United States Maglev Coalition (USMC) is an organization wanting to develop maglev technology in the U.S. The group helped the federal government fix a September 2005 report that "unfairly and erroneously criticized maglev's costs while ignoring its benefits."

Maglev trains are extremely expensive to create, so $45M could easily lead to a multi-billion dollar investment. The Shanghai maglev train network cost almost $30M per mile to create, and a proposed route in Japan is estimated to cost up to $82B to complete.

Germany, Canada, England, China and Japan are included in the small selection of countries that either have working maglev systems or are testing maglev technology.



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RE: waste of money
By Doormat on 6/9/2008 12:09:02 AM , Rating: 5
Because of the way Amtrak works - they run their trains on tracks owned by others (in this case, the Union Pacific RR), so they're a lower priority. UPRR's freight trains get priority, and that can lead to delays and other problems for the train.

The train also only goes 55mph or so, while the traffic on 15 between LV and LA usually go anywhere between 75 and 100mph (yes, you read that right, 100mph, I've driven between LV and LA many times and its scary to see how fast they pass you at 75mph - and I've also been in a 15 passenger van doing 100mph, and we managed to get back from LA to LV in under 3 hours including a gas/bathroom stop).


RE: waste of money
By EntreHoras on 6/9/2008 10:55:11 AM , Rating: 3
C'mon! 100mph is not that much... if you ask Speed Racer.


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