Bullet Train Between DC-Baltimore Slowly Inching Toward Reality
Even a proposed bullet train can’t defy the speed of bureaucracy, but we are creeping closer to a 15-minute ride between Baltimore and DC.
According to Urban Turf, three routes have been proposed for maglev train routes:
The main route that has been publicized would have a station in either the Mount Vernon Square/Chinatown area or near NoMA/Gallaudet Metro station, a stop at BWI Marshall Airport, and a final stop in either the Westport, Port Covington or Federal Hill/Inner Harbor neighborhoods. The tunnels for the routes could either run alongside the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or parallel a portion of Amtrak’s lines.
The goal is to have the route approved by mid-2019 with design and construction starting later that year. The hope is once this part of the line is completed it’ll eventually extend through the East Coast megalopolis to New York City. If completed it would cut in half the current train travel time between the District and NYC.
This news follows the release of a federal study about how to best connect Atlanta, Ga. and Chattanooga, Tenn. That study estimates the cost of a rail line at $8.76 billion.
Getting some momentum behind high-speed rail projects isn’t as impossible as it used to be. Republican Governors had rejected previously rejected efforts by the Obama Administration to fund high-speed rail. The decisions to turn away that money has proven more costly to some states than it would have been to move forward with building the lines.
Most notably is Wisconsin where Gov. Scott Walker has cost taxpayers tens of millions since rejecting the federal government’s $810 million investment connecting Madison and Milwaukee. After rejecting the money Walker has been forced to settle lawsuits related to previously established train manufacturing commitments and using state money to improve that state’s current rail lines (fixes that would have been covered by Obama’s $810 million federal grant).
President Donald Trump, much like his Democratic predecessor, is enthusiastic about the promise that comes with high-speed rail. This year, the Trump Administration, to the chagrin of Republican legislators, approved a $650 million in federal investment in California’s rail system helping that state move closer toward a high-speed rail line.