There are more questions than answers about the Baltimore - Washingtion SCMaglev.  Concerns are growing that project is being rushed.
Growing Concerns. There is growing concern that because of the public-private nature of this project, the potential billions of dollars of foreign investment available, and increased interest by both state and Federal administrations  – this portion of the project between Baltimore and Washington may become reality in the near future without the independent comprehensive evaluations and reviews that it deserves.    It may be that the proponents believe that “if they build it – they will come” – that is to say - a short demonstration project between Baltimore and Washington would be used as a centerpiece for the larger project that ultimately links Washington, Baltimore, New York, and Boston.  The problem is – if the rest of it is not built then none of the benefits will ever be realized.  Worse still – we the people of Maryland will be left holding the bag.

Claims of Benefits.  Many of the claims of benefits that are being made to promote this project are questionable at best and misleading.   Here are just a few counter arguments to some the common claims: 

Jobs.  Claims have been made that tens of thousands of high-paying jobs will be created due investment in infrastructure.  But those jobs will likely not benefit the communities that the train will go through, and some may be located in other parts of the country.  These will most likely be temporary highly specialized construction and engineering jobs that would go individuals and companies that already have those skills and expertise.  It is even possible that many of the engineering jobs would in fact go to the Japanese.

Commercial and Economic Opportunities.    This is perhaps the least believable claim of them all.  Delays, traffic congestion, and limited local and long-distance commuter alternatives along the Northeast Corridor frustrates easy travel and cause delays that in turn stifle productivity and the economy in general.  Some proponents of this project claim that, if only there was a train that would be extremely expensive that would travel from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minute.  That - they claim improves the economy and improves commerce.  It is possible that if high speed train alternative was available between Baltimore and New York or between New York and Boston it would alleviate some of the problems; but, one small portion between Baltimore and Washington could be a disaster
Reduced Congestion.  Claims have been made that the SCMaglev would reduce rush hour traffic, construction detours, airport delays, and other travel headaches.  All of these claims are false when considering the Baltimore and Washington SCMaglev alone.  This project would likely have absolutely no impact on local traffic congestion.  During construction it may in fact be the opposite effect – creating traffic delays and detours.  The SC Maglev would only have three stops – one in Washington, one at Thurgood Marshall/BWI Airport, and Baltimore.  Because there will be no local stations or stops - the SCMaglev is not suited as a commuter rail system.  In addition, because of the likely much higher cost of the tickets, there will very few local commuters that would use the system on a regular basis. 

   Northeast SCMeglev Train Questions & Concerns
1. Destroys Community.  What are the criteria used to decide if tunnels will be built or homes taken and destroyed?
2. Takes Private Property.  Who decides if my home is to be taken and what is “fair market value”?
3. Life Cycle cost not beneficial to citizens.  If the business venture fails, who is going to be responsible for the upkeep – the citizens of Maryland?
4.  Baltimore to Washington, DC cost estimates of $10 Billion to %15 Billion. How much of it will come out of State and Federal taxes? What if the Japanese companies pull out – who is left holding the bag?
5. Cost Estimate per mile is $278 Million to $416 Million for 36 miles between Baltimore to Washington, DC.  Where is the Needs Assessment for the project with specific Costs and Benefits?
6. Conservative Cost Estimate for the Baltimore to New York City $52 Billion to $79 Billion for the 192 miles.  If the rest of the network not built what are the benefits, if any, and what are the risks?
7. Items 5 and 6 are in current dollars, and do not include on-going cost to maintain and operate.  Can a private company be profitable just between Baltimore and Washington or will it need State and Federal subsidies? If so, for how long? 
8. State of Maryland Public Utility Commission approved Railroad Franchise to Northeast Maglev to operate a train, thereby granting them the right to exercise eminent domain.
9. SCMaglev de-rails funding from current transportation budget which helps highways, bridges, tunnels, rail, subway and other transportation elements ie. Amtrak Avelia train.  What will that do to the other transportation needs (bridge repair, pothole, road and highway repair, MARC – commuter rail, AMTRAK, etc) if all the money is sucked up by SCMaglev?
10. Decreases Property Values.  Even if a “fair market value” is given for house confiscated by the government using eminent domain laws, what are the potential impacts to local property values?  Does anyone in the state of Maryland or Federal government care?  Will there be a detailed independent economic impact study done or will we just take SCMaglev’s word on it?
11. Impacts the Environment.  They may claim that SCMaglev is “green technology” but mostly just addresses carbon emissions.  What about local environmental impacts (Chesapeake Bay watershed, flood plains, wetlands, etc) that would significantly impacted by the construction?  How can the Environment Impact Statement (EIS) be considered independent and impartial if it is being done now by the company that wants to build the SCMaglev?
12. Destroys Recreational Areas.  Proposed routes go directly through parks, forested areas, and playing fields.  Are there any concerns about impacting dwindling recreational areas, farms – rural areas, and open spaces?
13. Negative Impacts on Historical Areas.  There are scores of sites that may be adversely impacted by one or more of the proposed routes for the SCMaglev.  The project's screening criteria include "historic landmarks and eligible National Register sites".  How will these sites be addressed are there specific documented criteria being used to determine if a route is viable? (
14. Montgomery and Howard counties have said NO to this project coming through their area.  Why is that?
15.  If the claimed trip time cannot be achieved in the distance from Baltimore to Washington, DC., then what is the point?
16.  Japanese government is funding their companies and people who make the technology and getting into our country’s affairs!  Will the Japanese have a monopoly on the engineering design and manufacturing of the train?  Without competitive bids  - won’t that drive the price up?  What about “Buy American”?
17.  We are being sold a “bill of goods” without all the facts.  Where is the Needs Assessment that shows that we have to build this SCMaglev?  Where is the Cost – Benefit Analysis that shows that this is a better alternative than fixing MARC, AMTRAK, Interstate-95, improving local roads, or building the Purple Line or building a DC Metro extension to BWI/Thurgood Marshall Airport or to the city of Baltimore?
18.  Need for you to let your voices be heard….please contact your government representatives before it is too late.
Super Maglev Train coming through Bowie

The Maryland Department of Transportation along with the Federal government are partnering with a private company from Japan to put a Super Maglev Train between Baltimore and Washington DC.  This train would not be a commuter train and not stop anywhere in Prince George's County, and have only one stop in Anne Arundel County, at the BWI Airport.  Y

How does this effect you?  The proposed routes go underneath, through, or very near your neighborhood.   This will at least lower housing prices, and in some cases, your home and property may be taken from you.   Building could start as early as 2020.



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