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Maryland Transportation Group Says High-Speed Rail Too Slow

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By David Schultz

From Baltimore's Penn Station, the Amtrak Acela express train travels up and down the eastern coast at up to 135 miles per hour. Maryland will get $70 million in stimulus funds to make the Acela a little bit faster. It's widening a tunnel in Baltimore and building a new station at BWI Airport.

Otis Rolley, with the Central Maryland Transportation alliance, says that's nice, "[But] that's not the true high speed rail that we have the potential as a nation to have here."

He says a real high speed rail system would be something like the proposed "Maryland Maglev." It's a magnetically powered train that can travel up to 300 miles-per-hour.

"Maglev has the potential of being able to get you from Baltimore City to Washington D.C. in 18 minutes," Rolley says. "That would transform Baltimore and transform D.C."

But Maglev carries a price tag of nearly $5 billion, which leaves Maryland lawmakers unenthusiastic.

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