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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:08 AM
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(don't know what kind of paper this is, its name, though... but the topic is interesting)


Friday, September 30, 2005

Some time has passed since the Pittsburgh maglev project showed signs of a pulse. But reports of its demise were premature.

While no construction money is available for the $3.4 billion project to provide 250-mile-an- hour trains linking Pittsburgh International Airport with downtown Pittsburgh, Monroeville and near Greensburg, the Port of Authority of Allegheny County is moving to complete the preliminary work to get in position to build when it is.


Local enthusiasm for the high-speed trains that move along guideways propelled by electromagnets is mixed. In an editorial, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said, "It's time the public and its representatives drive a stake through this boondoggle."

This is no boondoggle. This is serious technology being developed by serious people with a serious mission in mind: To demonstrate that this form of high-speed ground transportation can be adapted to the United States to provide frequent, fast, safe, affordable and energy-efficient movement of people and freight. This German technology has proven itself in years of testing through several stages of development. The first commercial maglev system is operating today in Shanghai. From the Persian Gulf to Britain and from California back to China, other serious people are moving forward with plans to build maglev systems.


But can Pittsburgh really wait that long? The Southern California Association of Governments is actively pursuing numerous possible maglev routes, with one anchored to Los Angeles International Airport likely to be the first built. And SCAG, which wasn't in line to receive federal dollars anyway, is looking to build it without government funds. It believes the project can be financially self-supporting.

Once again we call upon Gov. Ed Rendell to think big and become an advocate for making the Pittsburgh maglev project a reality, sooner rather than later. Hanging in the balance is whether Pennsylvania or California will emerge as the leader in this cutting-edge technology and the center for decades of major investment in maglev as it is built out to serve the entire country.


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