• Washington to Baltimore: maglev or hyperloop?

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by RRspatch
 
The HYPErloop now appears dead. The Boring Company has removed the proposed Washington to Baltimore project from it's web site.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... story.html

Note: the above link is paywalled.

This was reported in the blog GreaterGreaterWashington.
  by STrRedWolf
 
More on this via Yahoo! News: https://www.yahoo.com/news/elon-musks-b ... 20056.html
The Boring Company removed any mention of its plans to build transit tunnels in Los Angeles and Washington DC from its website in April.

Bloomberg first reported the projects had been removed from the site on Thursday and Insider was able to confirm. The removal of any mention of the two tunnels from the projects section of The Boring Company site is a sign both projects - which were announced several years ago - might not come to fruition.
From what I read... the environmental impact statements are showing how difficult it would be to build the hyperloop. 411 pages? Yeow.
  by Greg Moore
 
Which of the two? Neither. All hype.
  by kitchin
 
Hyperloop is dead it seems. Maglev has money from Japan, but the public comments are probably not going well, based on news reports. Back when, roads and rail could be built through the fens between DC and Balto, but perhaps not now. I wonder how strongly people, groups or governments in Balto are advocating for it in the commenting. Maybe more than those from DC?

A corridor that closely follows the BW Parkway was the choice of both projects, and using existing corridors is the best way environmentally by most opinion, so that's why they chose it. Then there's neighborhood opposition, but few are directly affected. How many people there see a benefit to reducing car traffic on the corridor? The tickets would surely cost more than MARC or perhaps Acela, but MARC is overloaded I think, and the region is growing. I'm not sure it would hurt MARC or Amtrak, other than competing for Acela riders who use it for Baltimore. The station at BWI airport would be closer than theirs, but the plan for it hurts short-term parking: tear down a large parking deck and rebuild it further back. It would be in a tunnel at that point, but for whatever reason the station was not planned to go under the airport terminal.
  by west point
 
Agree MARC is overloaded. Solution is unfortunately costly as it requires first 4 tracking the NEC WASH - Baltimore and second the replacement of the B&P tunnel with the proposed new 4 track bores..
  by STrRedWolf
 
west point wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:33 am Agree MARC is overloaded. Solution is unfortunately costly as it requires first 4 tracking the NEC WASH - Baltimore and second the replacement of the B&P tunnel with the proposed new 4 track bores..
True, but even then it's less costly than the maglev, which is turning out to be a very expensive stupid-fast subway ride.

Look at what needs to be done (in order of priority):
  • B&P Tunnel -- The highest priority in this area.
  • 4-track GROVE to WINNANS and reconstruct BWI -- This separates MARC trains from Amtrak trains as they no longer need to share a platform.
  • 4-track BOWIE to GROVE, adjusting Bowie and Odenton -- Furthering the separation down and giving Odenton an express platform.
  • 4-track CARROL to BOWIE, rebuilding Seabrooke
  • 4-track WAS to CARROL, rebuilding New Carrollton -- the faster you get Amtrak onto it's own track the better the speeds will be.
  • 4-track BAL to PERRY -- Continuing the separation as much as possible (although Aberdeen/ABE is an issue)
Three-tracking the Camden and Brunswick lines also will have a good effect on the MARC capacity.
  by mmi16
 
west point wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:33 am Agree MARC is overloaded. Solution is unfortunately costly as it requires first 4 tracking the NEC WASH - Baltimore and second the replacement of the B&P tunnel with the proposed new 4 track bores..
Have been getting advertising pushing Maglev. With Maglev, being a above ground operation, to my knowledge. I can only imagine the community disruption in the Balt-Wash corridor. Utilizing highway rights of way is not the 'no brainer' that many think it is - high speed anything in 'mass transit' arena requires much less curvature than highway rights of way have been built within. This applies to the B-W Parkway, I-95 and for that matter US-1.
  by kitchin
 
It's about half tunnels as I recall. In the fens, it's above ground and follows very closely the rather straight BW Parkway. The neighborhood disruptions would be in the DC and Balto areas, during construction and perhaps once builts. The environmental affect on the marshy wildernesses would be something, including a servicing yard on the edge of it, but a lot less than when the BW Parkway and NEC and I-95 were built, the latter to gargantuan proportions. I think most of us have seen this area through a train window. Well, go east five miles, it's probably a little wetter.

Why maglev would be good:
1. Free money from Japan (50%). The rest is private as I understand it, though there might be some associated costs to government. Don't know.
2. Japan Rail presumably is in it not just for profits, but as a demonstration. That's good for us too, the demonstration of it. Better to do it here than Nevada because more influential people will see it. And a higher population.
3. The Baltimore station is better than Amtrak's. It's adjacent to MARC's Camden yards station, about as close to downtown as you're going to get. Amtrak's is up a big hill across a highway.
4. The BWI station is better, no shuttle bus.
5. Twenty minutes.
6. Perhaps more amenities, to keep Amtrak and MARC on their toes.

But the cynical side of me wonders if it's just a way to keep a small office employed for a few years.
  by STrRedWolf
 
kitchin wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:29 pm Why maglev would be good:
1. Free money from Japan (50%). The rest is private as I understand it, though there might be some associated costs to government. Don't know.
2. Japan Rail presumably is in it not just for profits, but as a demonstration. That's good for us too, the demonstration of it. Better to do it here than Nevada because more influential people will see it. And a higher population.
3. The Baltimore station is better than Amtrak's. It's adjacent to MARC's Camden yards station, about as close to downtown as you're going to get. Amtrak's is up a big hill across a highway.
4. The BWI station is better, no shuttle bus.
5. Twenty minutes.
6. Perhaps more amenities, to keep Amtrak and MARC on their toes.

But the cynical side of me wonders if it's just a way to keep a small office employed for a few years.
Yeah, but $60 for a 20 minute ride? Amtrak does it in under 40 for $15 and MARC takes an hour for $8.

I've talked about that earlier. Who is going to ride a futuristic subway for prices only the rich could afford?
  by electricron
 
Read the EIS guys and gals for accurate information, please.
https://www.bwmaglev.info/images/docume ... wnload.pdf
"BWRR has identified its preferred configuration; Build Alternative J, BARC West TMF, and Cherry Hill as the north terminus station (Build Alternatives J-03). BWRR favors this alternative for its shorter construction, ability to avoid and mitigate impacts, and lower construction and operating costs. BWRR believes Build Alternative J-03 will be the least impact and lowest cost to construct, operate, and maintain while also providing the earliest start to revenue service.
The Build Alternatives J alignments are a combination of tunnel sections and viaduct. Build Alternative J alignments extend 33 to 36 miles end-to-end, depending upon which Baltimore Station option is selected, and would average approximately 75 percent (or
25 to 27 miles) tunnel and 25 percent (or 8 to 9 miles) viaduct.
Build Alternatives J (BWP East) includes a newly constructed independent station in Washington, D.C. (Mount Vernon Square East). The proposed alignment would be in a tunnel (see Figure 3.4-1) under Washington, D.C. from the southern terminus near Mount Vernon
Square to east of the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495). In this section, Build Alternatives J would be in a deep tunnel, typically 80 feet to 260 feet deep, with an optimum depth of approximately 320 feet and minimum depth equivalent to one tunnel diameter or approximately 50 feet.
After crossing under the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495), the guideway would transition from tunnel to a viaduct, on the east side of the BWP between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) overpass and Beaver Dam Road. A portal structure would transition the guideway between tunnel and viaduct. In Build Alternatives J alignments, the viaduct would be an optimum of 131 feet above ground level and 125 feet above the elevation of the northbound travel lanes of the BWP. Build Alternatives J would generally follow the east side of the BWP travel lanes on viaduct through Federal lands including the BWP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), Patuxent Research Refuge (PRR), and Fort George G. Meade, and run adjacent to Federal facilities (U.S. Secret Service [USSS] and National Security Agency [NSA]) before returning to a tunnel on Fort George G. Meade. Build Alternatives J would continue north in tunnel toward a newly constructed underground BWI Marshall Airport Station.
North of the airport, Build Alternatives J would continue in a tunnel to Baltimore, MD. The northern terminus would be a newly constructed passenger station.
The BARC West TMF would be on the portion of BARC property that is on the west side of the BWP. The facility would be on forested land between Powder Mill Road and Odell Road. Because the site slopes downward toward the northwest and Odell Road, the Project Sponsor would provide up to 56 feet of fill to raise the northwestern portion of the site to a level grade with the rest of the TMF site. The fill would be supported by perimeter retaining walls.

Summary of Station Locations and Features
Mount Vernon Square East (Washington, D.C.)
Underground along New York Avenue between 7th Street NW and 4th Street NW
Access: Via Carnegie Library building; Massachusetts Avenue at Chinatown Park; or New York Avenue
Connectivity: Existing Metro Convention Center and Gallery Place stations; city bus services; roadway network; bicycle/ pedestrian networks
Parking: 5-level, 1,000 space underground facility

BWI Marshall Airport
Underground beneath the existing hourly parking garage and airport terminals on either side
Access: Parking garage/airport terminal via new multimodal facility above the station
Connectivity: BWI Airport; Amtrak/MARC rail; Raillink light rail; bus services; roadway network
Parking: Parking would be available at a new hourly garage (coordinated with BWI)

Cherry Hill Option (Baltimore)
Elevated above the MTA Cherry Hill Light Rail along and east of MD 295, south of Waterview Avenue,
Access: Via Cherry Hill Station and via new pedestrian connection to adjacent proposed parking facility
Connectivity: Raillink light rail; city bus network; roadway network; bicycle/ pedestrian networks
Parking: 4-level, 5,000 space facility"

75% subway and 25% elevated guideway is not half elevated - half subway. The Baltimore station will not be under Camden Yards nor the convention center. The DC station will not be under Union Station. The only locations that this maglev will be visible or heard to non riders will be near the Cherry Hill Station, the TMF at BARC West, and along federally owned property at BARC, Fort Mead, and the Wildlife Refuge.

Additionally, this EIS also looked at what improvements are and will be done to Amtrak's NEC.
"FRA’s 2017 Record of Decision for the NEC FUTURE program identifies service and performance objectives to improve rail service on the NEC. To meet these service and performance objectives, FRA recommended the following improvements within theProject Study Area that would allow for an increased number of daily trips and shorter travel times on both Amtrak and MARC commuter service:
• Chokepoint relief projects at three locations:
– Reconstruct New Carrollton Station to have four platform tracks, thus permitting express and local trains serving the station to operate on separate tracks
– Reconstruct Odenton Station, resulting in island platforms that allow Amtrak trains to stop at station on express tracks
– Reconstruct BWI Marshall Airport Station with a new platform and improvements to existing platforms to accommodate upgrades to four tracks through the station (this is a related project to NEC FUTURE)
• New Track Capacity
– Expand track capacity from New Carrollton to Halethorpe to a consistent four tracks, from the current two/three track configuration
• Signals
– Provide systems upgrade to high density signaling to meet service and performance objectives

In addition to the NEC FUTURE program, there are related projects on the NEC that are moving forward separately, but would have an impact on intercity rail in the Project Study Area:
• Replacement/Rehabilitation of the Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel – The B&P Tunnel runs under West Baltimore and provides access to Baltimore Penn Station from the west. Planning for the replacement or rehabilitation of the tunnel is moving forward as a project separate from the NEC FUTURE program but would have a significant impact on MARC and Amtrak service in the Project Study Area by allowing for higher speeds/shorter travel times.
• BWI Marshall Airport Rail Station Improvements and Fourth Track Project - The project includes providing a new platform, improvements to the current station, with possible multi-level transit-oriented development and addition of nine miles of the fourth track along the NEC generally between Odenton Station and Halethorpe Station.
Each of these improvements to the NEC would allow for capacity expansion, more frequent service on both MARC and Amtrak within the Project Study Area as well as shorter travel times between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD."

Much can be learned by reading these EIS.
  by kitchin
 
I missed that the magelv sponsor (BWRR) had picked Cherry Hill as its preferred station, though Camden Yards could still be chosen for lower impact.

The BWI renderings show no parking above the station. Page 361, https://www.bwmaglev.info/images/docume ... wnload.pdf The parking deck currently there is removed and replaced two buildings back.

Federal funds were used for planning, but of course have not been appropriated for construction. The EIS is written as if it's possible the project could be built without federal funds, though I'm not familiar enough with the boilerplate verbiage in EIS's to know what they're really saying.
  by scratchyX1
 
kitchin wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:34 am I missed that the magelv sponsor (BWRR) had picked Cherry Hill as its preferred station, though Camden Yards could still be chosen for lower impact.

The BWI renderings show no parking above the station. Page 361, https://www.bwmaglev.info/images/docume ... wnload.pdf The parking deck currently there is removed and replaced two buildings back.

Federal funds were used for planning, but of course have not been appropriated for construction. The EIS is written as if it's possible the project could be built without federal funds, though I'm not familiar enough with the boilerplate verbiage in EIS's to know what they're really saying.
Let's be honest, do you think someone will pay 20$ for maglev, just to to then wait the same amount of time for light rail to show up.
And do you really think ANYONE who pays for maglev would deign to use .. The Bus?
with Common People.
Plus, Cherry Hill has a (now dated) reputation, among those what would use maglev.
(mind you, In the Before, I'd swim with my kid at the Middle River Aquatic Center, and even now take the bus, but I don't see me taking maglev)
  by STrRedWolf
 
electricron wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:50 am Read the EIS guys and gals for accurate information, please.
...
Much can be learned by reading these EIS.
Thus my current opinion. I read the EIS. It looked like it was mostly underground and had the possibly of a stop right at BWI's terminals. The cost of a ride was based on earlier reporting (that expensive? Yeeeeeeesh).

Well, that and it would be near where I live. Given the limited benefit? I have to go NIMBY on this one.
  by eolesen
 
I rode the maglev in Shanghai, and yeah, it was cool but had I not been going to the airport, I probably wouldn't have written it. If this one doesn't stop at BWI it'll never make money.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by STrRedWolf
 
eolesen wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 1:05 pm I rode the maglev in Shanghai, and yeah, it was cool but had I not been going to the airport, I probably wouldn't have written it. If this one doesn't stop at BWI it'll never make money.
I kinda doubt it'll make money anyway, not at least from Baltimore.

Okay, back to pre-pandemic observations here. The ways to get to the airport from Baltimore from transit are:
  • Take MARC Penn Line or Amtrak from Penn Station (after taking one of five buses to get there from downtown or the Light Rail), then down to BWI, and then the rail-to-airport free bus. This usually was crowded both ways, cost $5-$12, and took roughly 10-20 minutes.
  • Take the Light Rail, which got you to the International Terminal E. Yeah, you'd have to walk all the way around to get to Terminal A/B and Southwest Air, but it only cost (now)$1.90.
  • Take a bus down to Patapsco and then take another bus to the airport, which is roughly $4 ($1.90/ride) and took over an hour.
From DC, it's now down to taking Amtrak or MARC up from Union Station. $7 at least, 30-45 min ride, still gotta take the free bus. They shut down the B30 bus for now.

Maglev would cut it down to 10 min from DC, maybe, for at least five times the cost.

Guess who would be taking it? It won't be me (I live near by). It won't be the average Baltimoron or DC resident (too expensive). It won't be any business person (ether taxi, hotel shuttle, car, or regular transit). Any politician taking it would risk raising a political stink over it. No, the only people who will take it are businessmen who have access to the corporate credit card, the uber rich, and lobbyists. That's it.

It's doomed to fail.