Backers of a maglev train line linking Baltimore and Washington are excited by what they’re hearing from President Donald Trump in terms of infrastructure investment.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the president expressed interest in developing high-speed rail as part of a campaign promise to invest $1 trillion in the nation’s infrastructure.
Wayne Rogers, the chairman of advocacy group the Northeast Maglev, issued a statement to news media Friday touting the president’s apparent interest in rail.
“America is a world leader where we dream big and push ourselves to go further faster. For decades, we have been making attempts to enhance our railway infrastructure to compete with the rest of the world,” Rogers said in a statement. “President Trump’s interest in building new high-speed railways is encouraging news and an important first step in bringing this needed transportation option to the American people,”
In September, Rogers, who also serves as chairman of Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, which wants to build the magnetic levitation train line that travels 300 mph and moves passengers between the two cities in 15 minutes, said the project could be complete in as little as three years.
The project is estimated to cost $10 billion. The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded a $27.8 million grant to Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail for pre-construction planning and engineering analysis.
Last August, the Japan government pledged $2 million for a feasibility study and The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has pledged $5 billion to complete it. Central Japan Railway Co. has also waived fees to license its maglev technology to bolster the proposed line.
Critics of maglev argue its not a prudent investment because the technology doesn’t work with the existing rail infrastructure.
Despite lingering doubts about the viability of maglev in the United States, Rogers remained optimistic about the project’s future.
“Significant developments over the past 18 month are bringing the project closer to reality,” he said.