Japan Commits to Fund Baltimore – Washington SCMaglev Project

Japan Commits to Fund Baltimore – Washington SCMaglev Project :Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on 24 August 2016 that formalizes and strengthens the trade relationship between Maryland and Japan.
Progress on the Baltimore – Washington Superconducting Magnetic Levitation (SCMaglev) Transportation Project was highlighted, with Japan committing US$2 million in support of feasibility studies for the project. This sum complements the nearly $28 million in U.S. federal grants secured to complete the necessary environmental and engineering studies.

Governor Hogan stated: “The relationship between Japan and Maryland has already started paying dividends, and with the signing of this Memorandum of Cooperation, we are taking the next important step.”

Ambassador Sasae commented: “With our signatures, we are saying that we believe Maryland and Japan can benefit by working together. I am here today to affirm to you that our embassy will do whatever we can to encourage our expanding bilateral relationship with the State of Maryland.”

The Baltimore – Washington SCMaglev project is a private sector initiative that envisages a 15 minute ride between downtown Baltimore and downtown Washington DC, with an intermediate stop at Thurgood Marshall International Airport. It is part of the so-called Northeast Corridor and would eventually extend to Philadelphia International Airport, downtown Philadelphia, Newark International Airport and New York.
SCMaglev technology utilizes magnetic forces to smoothly and rapidly accelerate trains to 500 kmh (more than 300 mph) while levitating inches off of the ground.

Japan is currently building the Chuo Shinkansen, an SCMaglev line linking Tokyo to Nagoya, planned to be extended to Osaka.

Maryland Governor Hogan and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn rode on Japan’s Yamanashi test track in 2015 during a trade mission in Asia. The afterwards promised that they would work to adopt the same technology in Maryland.

Writer: John Carlo Ottaviani

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