The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to support ongoing efforts by the private sector to bring Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMaglev) trains to the Northeast region.
The Baltimore-Washington corridor was 1 of 3 corridors in the United States eligible to apply for these funds for Maglev projects. The Maryland application for the federal grant was submitted in April with the understanding that the Japanese government will be a source of significant financial backing for the project, along with private-sector support from Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail LLC.
“The ability to travel between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in only 15 minutes will be absolutely transformative, not just for these two cities, but for our entire state. This grant will go a long way in helping us determine our next steps in this transportation and economic development opportunity.”Governor Larry Hogan said.
“We are very pleased to see this funding announced. Working with the United States Government, the State of Maryland and Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, we will prove that this cutting-edge Japanese technology will be a great asset to the busy Northeast Corridor.”said Japanese Ambassador Kenichirō Sasae.
The Baltimore-Washington SCMaglev project is a privately sponsored initiative led by the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, which envisions a 15-minute ride between downtown Baltimore and downtown Washington, D.C., with interim stops at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.
“The SCMaglev project has the opportunity to transform not only Baltimore but the entire Northeast corridor. We are excited for the help of the State of Maryland and the federal government to make this project a reality.”said Wayne Rogers, chairman and CEO for Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail.
Because the application needed to come through a public agency, the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation applied as co-applicants on behalf of Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail. Pursuing Federal Railroad Administration funding did not require state funds or matching state funds from the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund, nor does it come at the expense of other planned projects in the Maryland Department of Transportation’s six-year capital program.
With the grant funds now awarded, Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail can move forward to initiate planning and engineering analysis and review compliance and permitting.