By Holden Wilen
Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/n ... _source=stThe CEO of Amtrak on Thursday offered a sharp rebuke of the proposed high-speed magnetic levitating train that would take passengers from Baltimore to Washington in 15 minutes.
Testifying before a Congressional committee, Bill Flynn said the potential maglev line would be "environmentally disruptive," require public spending that would primarily benefit the rich and provide marginal time savings for passengers while being substantially more expensive than other travel options. Flynn also offered similar criticism of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's proposed "Hyperloop."
"While new technologies like Maglev and Hyperloop may capture the public imagination, they are not a substitute for high-speed and intercity passenger rail," Flynn said. "They would serve only a small niche of the intercity travel market at a much higher cost, both financially and environmentally."
"The huge public expenditures required to construct a maglev line would benefit only a small number of affluent travelers," Flynn said. "...Very few Amtrak [Northeast Corridor] or MARC commuter rail passengers would be able to use, and even fewer could afford to use, the proposed Washington-Baltimore maglev."
Passengers using Maglev "would save only a few minutes of travel time," Flynn said. Maglev’s projected trip time from Washington to Baltimore would be only 15 minutes faster than an Acela train and just six minutes faster than the projected Acela trip time if the Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel is replaced.
Wayne Rogers, CEO of Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail and Northeast Maglev, also testified on Thursday. [...] More than 19,500 people have signed a petition in favor of the project, he said, and more than 3,300 people have written letters of support to elected officials.