This article discusses the advantages of magnetic levitation (maglev) systems and what would be needed for such a system to be put into place in the United States. Maglev is cost-competitive with high-speed rail, yet provides greater speed, flexibility and integration capabilities. Maglev makes the most economic sense where there is already strong demand and where the cost of meeting this demand through expansion of existing infrastructure is expensive. Airports are one promising location, where maglev systems could be integrated into airport and airline operations. The authors have examined the progress of maglev technology, the history of U.S. government involvement in transportation infrastructure and the experience of other countries that have begun maglev development. From this study, they suggest that the keys to successful implementation include adequate planning in the area of performance, economics, the federal government's role, public-private partnerships, early deployment, research and innovative thinking. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century included a program to demonstrate a 40-mile maglev rail line and selection of a test site should be made soon.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Academies

    500 5th Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Rote, D M
    • Johnson, L R
  • Publication Date: 2003


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00986622
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2005 12:00AM