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(Illustration by Maximilian Franz / The Daily Record)

Maglev boosters application for passenger rail franchise approved

The firm hoping to develop a magnetic-levitation train line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. has been granted permission to acquire a passenger railroad franchise.

The Public Service Commission approved the application for Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail to acquire the franchise from the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad Co., which was abandoned in 1935.

“We are pleased that the Commission recognized the tremendous benefits of the SCMAGLEV system for greater Baltimore and Maryland. The transfer of this railroad franchise is an exciting first step in making this transformational project a reality,” said Wayne Rogers, chairman of Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail and chairman and CEO of The Northeast Maglev, in a news release. “We look forward to working with Federal, state and local government officials and other stakeholders to move this project forward.”

Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail is pursuing building a maglev line that would cut the 40-mile trip between Washington and Baltimore to 40 minutes. The project is currently expected to cost $10 billion. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation has pledged to subsidize $5 billion in hopes of helping exporting technology from The Central Japan Railway Co.

Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration awarded a $27.8 million grant that Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail will use to study the feasibility of the project, which has received the backing of high-profile business and political leaders, such as former U.S. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.


About Adam Bednar

Adam Bednar covers real estate and development for The Daily Record.