ART OF TRANSIT: Monday afternoon’s sunset as seen from Metro HQ. From our Instagram feed.
Japan pitches its high-speed train with an offer to finance (New York Times)
Japan plans to build a $100-billion mag-lev train between Tokyo and Osaka, with the route relying heavily on tunnels through mountains. Test trains on test track have gone 360 mph due to the technology — at about 90 mph, the wheels of the train begin levitate a few inches off the ground.
But the project faces skepticism at home, due mostly to its immense cost. Excerpt:
To get the American line off the ground, Japan has come up with a method of financing that is similarly novel. In a meeting with President Obama last winter, Mr. Abe offered to provide the maglev guideway and propulsion system free for the first portion of the line, linking Washington and Baltimore via Baltimore-Washington International Airport, a distance of about 40 miles.
Analysts say Japan has had trouble exporting the technology. It figures if the United States takes it, others will follow.
Several high-profile former politicians and government transportation officials have thrown their weight behind a proposed New York-to-Washington maglev project. Many of those folks were on a recent ride, as was a reporter for the NYT.
Here’s the issue. Maglev always sounds good, and it probably is cool to ride. But every time it is proposed in the U.S., it is usually spurned in favor of existing rail technology, usually because traditional rail is both cheaper and a known commodity. Thus, the money saved on a free Baltimore-to-D.C. segment may not be much compared to the vast cost of the Baltimore-NYC part of the project.
London tube to help heat homes (Sustainable Review)
Mayor Boris Johnson announced that excess heat from the subway will be used to heat about 500 homes. How it works (brief version): heat from the tube’s ventilation system will be channeled to a different network of pipes carrying warm air to the homes.
This long editorial urges downtown Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar to hire a manager to oversee the proposed DTLA streetcar, which in recent weeks has faced scrutiny over possible — and significant — cost increases.
Categories: Transportation Headlines