Northeast Maglev wants you to “get on board” with its proposal of a levitating, lighting speed train, otherwise referred to as a “maglev.” Different routes are under discussion from interested investors and contractors. The new train is currently focused on a route connecting just NYC and Washington D.C.
But other mock proposals present a behemoth loop that encompasses everything from Boston to Montreal. Our dream train!
The initial proposal of an American “Northeast Maglev” dates back to 2010, and development began in 2022. Northeast Maglev is still in Phase 1 of development, but if this project rolls along smoothly, rides may begin as early as 2025, connecting D.C. and Baltimore!
Boston is still a long way from becoming a part of that loop. According to a Northeast Maglev representative, “our full proposed route would take travelers between Washington D.C. and New York City. We are open to considering an extension to Boston in the future.”
Despite this being the first introduction of maglev trains to America, the technology already exists in Japan and Europe. Current maglev models and technology will be referenced when building this Northeast Corridor Train.
What is a ‘Maglev’ train?
Maglev itself is a Portmanteau, a blending of “magnetic” and “levitation.” Magnetic levitation is the technology that enables this train to travel at speeds surpassing 300 miles-per-hour.
“Maglevs incorporate a basic fact about magnetic forces—like magnetic poles repel each other, and opposite magnetic poles attract each other—to lift, propel, and guide a vehicle over a track (or guideway). Maglev propulsion and levitation may involve the use of superconducting materials, electromagnets, diamagnets, and rare-earth magnets,” according to Britannica. The concept was first introduced in 1900 by American professor and inventor Robert Goddard and French-born American engineer Emile Bachelet.
The push-pull effect of the opposing magnetic forces both propel the train forward and keep it hovering about 1/2 an inch above the railway.
The superconducting vessel “floats” above its tracks and zips through the air to various destinations.
Maglev train adoption
The first Maglev train system was introduced in 1984 Great Britain. It was an airport connection, so only traveled a distance of 1970-feet. Vancouver, Japan, Germany, and China all later adopted Maglev systems. The German Maglev transit ceased in 1992.
However, all of the existing Maglev trains are for short distance connections, mainly connecting major airports. Japan and America are the first two countries collaborating to create long-distance Maglev train systems.
The Northeast Maglev hopes to complete Phase 1 of its project by 2025, while Japan’s Maglev is expected to be complete by 2027 and connect Tokyo to Osaka (a 319-mile trip).
Northeast corridor connecting cities
The Northeast Maglev train is primarily focused on a New York to Washington D.C. train, while Boston is still an idea for expansion at the moment. Whether that evolves into the more encompassing proposal is still under discussion. And exactly which cities will get stops along the route is also in limbo. Phase 1 is currently setting the tracks between Washington D.C. and Baltimore.
What’s en route?
Phase 2’s more conservative route will succeed to connect D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and New York. The more audacious buildout could one day also include stops at Boston, Manchester, Burlington, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Detroit, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Newark, New York, and smaller cities in between.