Former American politicians hoping to bring Japanese maglev trains to the US were in Japan on Saturday to test ride the technology. Having been suitably impressed, they’ll now advise The Northeast Maglev (TNEM) group on their planned project to connect Washington DC with New York.
The trains are able to reach speeds of 315mph using levitation – real levitation, by the way, not the David Blaine face-diagonally-away-and-stand-on-tippy-toes-with-one-foot technique – controlled by superconducting magnets.
If the plans are approved, the time from New York to Washington DC would be reduced from three hours – via the US’s current fastest train, Amtrak’s Acela – to one hour, and the journey from Washington DC to Baltimore would take a mere 15 minutes. Both would be considerably faster than flying.
Like a hardened crack dealer, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is even offering the first portion for free, putting upwards of $10 billion of Japanese tax payers money on the line (poor pun intended). This investment would pay for a 40-mile track between Baltimore and Washington DC via the Baltimore-Washington airport.
Bloomberg, however, says we shouldn’t hold our breath.