Rails and NIMBYism
Maryann here, providing spot support this week while Mike's on vacation.
Maryland is seeking $360 million in federal funds for rail upgrades, Tim Wheeler (of B'more Green) wrote for today's paper. The state is hoping to use stimulus funds for improvements to replace the aging passenger tunnel (not the freight tunnel that caught fire years ago), expand the BWI Marshall airport rail station, and make improvements on passenger rail in the area.
However, one of the most interesting tidbits lies farther down in the story. The Federal Rail Administration will open up bids in October for greater infrastructure improvements, which could possibly include the first maglev train in the U.S. (The train pictured at left is Shanghai's maglev.) But problems are afoot, Wheeler reports:
Any bid for maglev funding faces a potential hurdle. A preliminary study of a maglev train between Washington and Baltimore halted after state lawmakers barred Maryland officials from studying, developing or building such a system in response to constituents' vocal fears about the safety and potential disruption of super-high-speed trains in their communities.
Call me daft, but wouldn't a high-speed rail be a boon for the Baltimore-Washington area? Are we so consumed with NIMBYism that we can't even study and consider the option?
Personally, I would love to have a quicker, more convenient route to and from D.C., especially on days when the B-W Parkway is closed both ways. But that's just my non-homeowner perspective. I'd like to know your opinion: Would you be down with a maglev train connecting Baltimore and Washington, or are you firmly against?
Photo by kanegen @ Flickr