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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Secretary Slater Announces Finalists For Maglev Technology Deployment Program

Document Series
Press Releases
Press Release Number
Contact Name
Warren Flatau
Contact Phone Number
Burlington Northern, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific

Monday, May 24, 1999 (Washington, DC )

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced grants to seven states and authorities for pre-construction planning for magnetic levitation (Maglev) high-speed ground transportation.

"Maglev technology has the potential to provide a new, safe and efficient high-speed ground transportation option for passengers," said Secretary Slater. "President Clinton said that now is not a time to rest but to build, and this program reflects his commitment to developing new technology that will help grow the economy and protect the environment in the 21st century."

The federal funds will pay up to two-thirds of the cost of the preliminary engineering, market studies, environmental assessments, and financial planning needed to determine the feasibility of deploying a Maglev project.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will distribute a total of $12.2 million among the seven grant recipients. The amount of each grant will vary based on the project. The FRA has selected the following projects for funding:

* Port Authority of Allegheny County: A 45-mile project linking Pittsburgh Airport to Pittsburgh and its eastern suburbs.

* Maryland Department of Transportation: A 40-mile project linking Camden Yard in Baltimore and Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Union Station in Washington, D.C.

* California-Nevada Super Speed Train Commission: A 42-mile project linking Las Vegas to Primm, Nev.

* Florida Department of Transportation: A 20-mile project linking Port Canaveral to the Space Center and the Titusville Regional Airport.

* Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission: A 40-mile project linking New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal to the airport and across Lake Ponchartrain to the fast-growing northern suburbs.

* Georgia/Atlanta Regional Commission: First 40 miles of 110-mile project from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Tenn.

* State of California: A 70- to 75-mile system connecting Los Angeles International Airport to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Ontario Airport and further east into Riverside County.

Each of the grants will provide the selected projects with sufficient federal funds to pay up to two-thirds of the cost of the preliminary engineering, market studies, environmental assessments, and financial planning needed to determine the feasibility of deploying a Maglev project. This phase of the competition will last one year from the date the grants are awarded. One project will be chosen from the seven to construct and deploy a Maglev project.

"The forthcoming demonstration of Maglev technology is very exciting to those of us who are working to develop high-speed ground transportation systems across America," said FRA Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris. "As we see more and more congestion on highways and airways, Maglev can be a competitive option," she continued.

Maglev is an advanced technology in which magnetic forces lift, propel, and guide a vehicle over a guideway. Utilizing state-of-the-art electric power and control systems, this configuration minimizes friction and permits cruising speeds of up to 300 mph, or more than three times the speed of conventional rail service. Because of its high speed and modest right-of-way requirements, Maglev offers competitive trip-time savings to auto and aviation modes in the 40- to 600-mile travel markets–an ideal travel option for the 21st century.


Last updated: Monday, May 24, 1999
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