• 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 STrRedWolf
 
kitchin wrote: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:45 pm Between the two, I'm betting on the Superconducting Maglev Project, with a nominal completion date of 2023 or so, half funded by Central Japan Railway. Elon Musk has mapped out a Boring Company route, but I wonder how likely that is.
Not likely. There's a lot of community opposition and current plans now have it running under BW Parkway (MD 295) for most of the run. It's currently seen as a boondoggle when the B&P Tunnel's replacement would save more time, as well as expansion of tracks.
  by electricron
 
The answer to your question is easy, the EIS is specifically for maglev. There are no other choices in the study because the study has intentionally limited itself to maglev. There are as far as I am aware, no study underway for hyperloop between D.C. and Baltimore.

The study is assuming using the vehicles and technology being used by Central Japan on its' existing test line. The commercial service date in Japan keeps getting set back as environmentalists and nimbys react. Will it ever enter commercial service?

As for the locations of the proposed stations, BWI, Mt. Vernon Square in D.C. and Cherry Hill in Baltimore are no where near existing Amtrak and MARC stations. Transfers will be extremely difficult. And transfers will be needed with just 3 stations for the entire line. In effect what they are proposing is an express train service to and from BWI airport, that does not even reach either city's downtown. Will enough traveling businessmen go through the trouble to reach these hard to reach stations to make it ultimately to BWI airport faster? Why not just go to Regan or Dulles instead?
  by Literalman
 
I think the maglev must really be intended as a foot in the door for maglev in the United States. It serves no real transportation purpose between Baltimore and Washington. Even if it did connect the downtowns, it would be only a few minutes faster than Acela (and you can bet it would be charging fares comparable to Acela, not MARC). If it's fast and functioning right near the nation's capital, it will be basically a demo, I think. A 35-mile route is hardly a place for maglev to succeed as a private enterprise, but maybe its backers see the billions it would cost to be a proof of concept that could be sold in practical intercity markets.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Lets do this, from a Baltimoron's prospective (aka me):

Acella: 35 min on average DC to Baltimore. Maybe stops at the airport. At least $44 one way if you want to go now.
NE Regional: 45 min on average, 2 intermediate stops, at least $15.
MARC Penn Line: 1 hour on average, local service has 7 intermediate stops. $8 flat.
MARC Camden Line: 1h10m on average, 8 regular intermediate stops, $8 flat, actually puts you downtown.

Maglev:
  • Washginton to Baltimore, with intermediary of BWI Airport. From DC: Up NY Avenue to Langgdon, then continue in a straight line to Bladensburg. Arc gently northbound under MD 295, and follow under it to MD 35 and Ft. Meade. Continue straight under BWI, stopping there under the parking garage. Then arc north to ether Cherry Hill, Patapsco, or Camden Yards for final destination. Most of the trip is underground.
  • The most recent press report claims an 8-15 minute ride for on average $60.
That's...

Lets add some more context:
  • Acela: Boston-NY-NJ-PA-MD-DC and back, as fast as possible on existing infrastructure, limited stop, better on-board service for a premium price.
  • NE Regional: Boston-NY-NJ-PA-MD-DC-VA and back, slightly better than commuter style, still reasonably fast. Granted, Boston to Newport News is a good chunk of a day.
  • MARC: Commuter service between Baltimore and DC. It's cheap but if you live "north of DC" it's better than dealing with traffic.
Maglev as planned: Overpriced, stupid-fast... uber-subway service. It's a trial. It's so lobbyists can get to DC faster but not live in DC (probably because the beer and theater scene is a bit better). If they do Mt. Vernon to Camden Yards, they'll get the baseball/football traffic (which makes it sketchy considering how MARC got burned by the feds on baseball trains). It's just a waste of money that should of been spent on the B&P.
  by scratchyX1
 
Honestly, Cascadia would be a better place for Maglev, since any faster service there will require massive amount of tunnels, anyway.
Also, a person gets to cherry hill, great. Then they have to wait 15 minutes for light rail, ELIMINATING any savings in time over Amtrak.
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:57 pm

Maglev as planned: Overpriced, stupid-fast... uber-subway service. It's a trial. It's so lobbyists can get to DC faster but not live in DC (probably because the beer and theater scene is a bit better). If they do Mt. Vernon to Camden Yards, they'll get the baseball/football traffic (which makes it sketchy considering how MARC got burned by the feds on baseball trains). It's just a waste of money that should of been spent on the B&P.
Wait, What happened with the baseball trains? I thought they were too popular that they were messing with the freight train schedules, so CSX declined to allow MARC to continue to run them. What's the real story?
Also, it looks like a station near Camden would involve ripping out the convention center, and be BILLIONS of dollars to build.
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:21 am Wait, What happened with the baseball trains? I thought they were too popular that they were messing with the freight train schedules, so CSX declined to allow MARC to continue to run them. What's the real story?
Also, it looks like a station near Camden would involve ripping out the convention center, and be BILLIONS of dollars to build.
Nah. Turns out you couldn't offer specialty event service for a price above base fare. MARC was doing a round-trip for about $20-25 USD.

At the time, I think the fare was $7 one way DC-Baltimore.

The FRA and FTA found out, and told MARC and CSX to cut it out (because at the time, CSX operated and crewed the trains on the line). So CSX said to MARC that it couldn't run the trains anymore. MARC tried to work around it with commuter buses for a year (since it also controls commuter buses as part of MTA), but that got shut down as well.
  by Red Wing
 
What are you talking about with the FTA and FRA shutting down special fares?

Up here Foxboro Boston round trip is $17.50 well if post COVID brings back this trip and for a Patriots game the price is $20 round trip.
  by TurningOfTheWheel
 
Can we stop with these stupid gadgetbahns and just build a functioning train for once? Or better yet, use the functioning trains that already run on this route with fantastic regularity!
  by ExCon90
 
Red Wing wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:52 pm What are you talking about with the FTA and FRA shutting down special fares?

Up here Foxboro Boston round trip is $17.50 well if post COVID brings back this trip and for a Patriots game the price is $20 round trip.
I was wondering about that too. How are MARC fares established, and what was the rationale for limiting an excursion fare to the ordinary rate? For an event like a game people pay plenty for a ticket and for parking; why shouldn't an excursion fare reflect demand?
  by scratchyX1
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:45 pm
scratchyX1 wrote: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:21 am Wait, What happened with the baseball trains? I thought they were too popular that they were messing with the freight train schedules, so CSX declined to allow MARC to continue to run them. What's the real story?
Also, it looks like a station near Camden would involve ripping out the convention center, and be BILLIONS of dollars to build.
Nah. Turns out you couldn't offer specialty event service for a price above base fare. MARC was doing a round-trip for about $20-25 USD.

At the time, I think the fare was $7 one way DC-Baltimore.

The FRA and FTA found out, and told MARC and CSX to cut it out (because at the time, CSX operated and crewed the trains on the line). So CSX said to MARC that it couldn't run the trains anymore. MARC tried to work around it with commuter buses for a year (since it also controls commuter buses as part of MTA), but that got shut down as well.
Not that I expect sport ball attendance to come back anytime soon, but now that it's no longer CSX operating the trains, why couldn't MARC run the ballpark trains again, but with a regular ticket price?
Or would it run into the "not enough slots" issue that prevents additional reverse direction service?
  by STrRedWolf
 
scratchyX1 wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:48 am Not that I expect sport ball attendance to come back anytime soon, but now that it's no longer CSX operating the trains, why couldn't MARC run the ballpark trains again, but with a regular ticket price?
Or would it run into the "not enough slots" issue that prevents additional reverse direction service?
I think it'll be "We'll get in trouble again if we do that with other people contracted to staff the train." All have been burned. MTA itself got burned with the drowsy drug issues years past, which is a different story.
  by RRspatch
 
The main reason you won't see the MARC baseball trains return is that Washington now has it's own baseball team. Back when the trains ran Washington baseball fans flocked to Baltimore to watch the O's play. That market has dried up now that the National's (formally the Montreal Expo's) are in DC.

BTW - I grew up in the DC area and was saddened when the Senators left town. I now live in Fort Worth and still root for the Senators in a round about way ..... except when the O's are in town. I then root for the team that wins and leave the stadium happy.