Northeast Maglev

Northeast Maglev or The Northeast Maglev, LLC, is a private U.S. company proposing a Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV) train system in the Northeastern United States.[2] Using technology developed by the Central Japan Railway Company, the Northeast Maglev would provide 15-minute service between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. with an intermediate stop at BWI Airport, and ultimately connect major Northeast metropolitan hubs and airports with a goal of one-hour service from Washington, D.C. to New York City.[3]

Northeast Maglev
Northeast Maglev Logo.png
OwnerNortheast Maglev, LLC
LocaleNortheastern United States
TerminiWashington, D.C.
TypeHigh-speed rail
Rolling stockL0 Series
Planned opening2030[1]
Operating speed314 mph (505 km/h)


In 2003, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), in cooperation with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) on a proposal to build a Maglev project linking downtown Baltimore to BWI Marshall Airport and Union Station in Washington, D.C. German maglev technology, Transrapid, was selected for the project. An Environmental Impact Statement was prepared, but Maryland suspended the project and a final EIS was never issued.[4]

The Northeast Maglev, LLC, was founded on March 25, 2010, to promote a revived effort to bring a maglev train to the Northeast Corridor.[5] Baltimore–Washington Rapid Rail, LLC, was founded in October 2011[6] and is the developer of the Northeast Maglev's first leg from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore.

In March 2015, the FRA issued notice of available funding under the Maglev Deployment Program (MDP). In April 2015, acting on behalf of Baltimore–Washington Rapid Rail (BWRR), the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) submitted an application to FRA for the funds to perform preliminary engineering (PE) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) work related to BWRR's SCMAGLEV proposal.[7]

In 2015 BWRR announced that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) approved BWRR's application to acquire a passenger railroad franchise previously held by the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad Company.[8] The railroad franchise was abandoned in 1935.[9] In granting the railroad franchise to BWRR, the Maryland PSC found that "the construction and operation of the SCMAGLEV between Washington, DC and Baltimore will result in substantial economic and social benefits to the State (of Maryland) and Baltimore and be consistent with the State's environmental laws and policies enacted or adopted to reduce harmful emissions for cleaner air and address the causes of climate change," and that awarding a franchise to facilitate in development of the SCMAGLEV was "in the public convenience and necessity."[10]

In 2016, the FRA awarded $27.8 million to MDOT to prepare preliminary engineering and NEPA analysis for an SCMAGLEV train between Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, with an intermediate stop at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport.[11]

The FRA and the MDOT were preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate the potential impacts of constructing and operating a high-speed superconducting magnetic levitation (SCMAGLEV) system between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland with an intermediate stop at BWI Airport. That EIS was "temporarily" ceased, waiting for an "updated engineering input from Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, the subsidiary of Baltimore-based Northeast Maglev" and the FRA citing "so that work does not have to be redone once the engineering inputs are finalized", in December 2019.[12] The EIS was being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, and other applicable regulations and procedures. Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail is providing preliminary engineering and technical assistance as well as additional funding support, in concert with the FRA grant, for the NEPA process.[13]

In a Purpose and Need Statement, the NEPA Team for the SCMAGLEV Project, led by FRA and coordinated by MDOT, said the project's purpose was to increase capacity, reduce travel time, and improve both reliability and mobility options between Baltimore and Washington. "The population in the Baltimore-Washington area makes up one of the largest and densest population centers in the United States. Over the next 30 years the population in the area is projected to increase by approximately 30 percent. Similarly, the demand on the transportation infrastructure between Baltimore and Washington will continue to increase..."[14]

The project has received endorsements of support from organizations including North America's Building Trades Unions,[15] Greater Baltimore Urban League,[16] Maryland State Conference NAACP and four of its local branches,[17] and four Baltimore–Washington corridor chambers of commerce including Prince George's Chamber of Commerce, Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, Baltimore City Chamber of Commerce, and Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce.[18]

On June 9, 2020, it was released that Northeast Maglev and B&O Railroad Museum created an alliance to bring educational support to the museum.[19]


Washington, D.C. to BaltimoreEdit

The first leg of the Northeast Maglev would connect Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, with a stop at Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport.

The first leg would be approximately 75 percent underground, and require a guideway (track) and three stations, a rolling stock storage depot, maintenance facility, power substations, ventilation plants, and an operations facility.[20]

In December 2018, the Federal Railroad Administration released an Alternatives Report that identified two alignments that run along Baltimore-Washington Parkway to be carried forward as part of the more detailed Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) assessment process. The DEIS is a detailed analysis of the remaining options as they compare to the baseline, which is a 'no-build' option. The Alternatives Report also identified multiple station locations to be considered as part of the DEIS. In Baltimore, potential station locations include Cherry Hill in south Baltimore and a separate location closer to Baltimore's Inner Harbor at Camden Yards. Proposed stations in Washington, D.C. include locations below New York Avenue, to the west and east of Mt. Vernon Square.[21]

Northeast CorridorEdit

While two specific routes are under consideration for the line's first leg from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, routes from Baltimore to New York have yet to be designed. In all, the Northeast Maglev is planned to have eight stops,[22] including:


The Northeast Maglev will use the technology developed by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central),[23] who developed the world's fastest train, the Superconducting Maglev (SCMAGLEV).

JR Central has been developing SCMAGLEV technology since 1962. The Japanese government fully approved the technology for passenger service in 2014, and JR Central began offering public rides on its Yamanashi test track that year. The train holds the world record for fastest maglev train.[24] JR Central is now extending its SCMAGLEV line, called the Chūō Shinkansen, to connect Tokyo and Nagoya, and ultimately Osaka.[25]

Rolling StockEdit

The line is planned to use a variation of the L0 Series that is used for the SCMAGLEV in Japan.[26]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Geerts, Esther (February 28, 2022). "A Maglev train in the US? 'We need to break the chain of low expectations'". Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  2. ^ Greenwood, Arin (July 16, 2012). "Northeast Maglev Train Plan Aims To Cut Down D.C.-N.Y. Travel Times". Huffington Post.
  3. ^ Valerio, Mike (November 21, 2019). "A 311 MPH floating train could link DC & Baltimore – neighbors, the NSA & a nation in gridlock take notice". WUSA9.
  4. ^ "Background". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  5. ^ "Maryland Business Search – Northeast Maglev, LLC".
  6. ^ "Maryland Business Search – Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, LLC".
  7. ^ "The SCMAGLEV Project – Fastest Train in the World". Northeast Maglev. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  8. ^ "Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail and The Northeast Maglev Announce Approval of Railroad Franchise Request by the Maryland Public Service Commission (Press Release)" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Maglev firms get OK to acquire WB&A railroad franchise". Capital Gazette. November 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Maryland PSC – In the Matter of the Application of Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, LLC for Approval to Transfer Passenger Railroad Franchise" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Background". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  12. ^ Lazo, Luz (December 17, 2019). "Federal review of Baltimore-Washington high-speed maglev project 'paused'". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "B-W SCMaglev Project Home Page". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  14. ^ "Federal Register/ Vol. 81, No. 227 / Friday, November 25, 2016 / Notices" (PDF).
  15. ^ Campbell, Colin (November 1, 2017). "Maglev project gains support of Building Trades Unions, Legislative Black Caucus". Baltimore Sun.
  16. ^ Rector, Kevin (December 13, 2018). "In first act, incoming Greater Baltimore Urban League president backs maglev train". Baltimore Sun.
  17. ^ Rector, Kevin (June 28, 2019). "NAACP leaders back D.C.-Baltimore maglev train, pointing to 74,000 construction jobs, 1,500 permanent jobs". Baltimore Sun.
  18. ^ Campbell, Colin (December 4, 2019). "'Transformative public transportation': Baltimore-area chambers of commerce endorse Northeast Maglev". Baltimore Sun.
  19. ^ "B&O Railroad Museum Reopens Today, Announces New Partnership With Northeast Maglev". June 25, 2020. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  20. ^ "FAQs". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  21. ^ "USDOT, FRA, MDOT - Final Alternatives Report" (PDF). November 2018.
  22. ^ Di Caro, Martin (July 24, 2015). "How Maryland Officials Hope To Cut D.C. To Baltimore Commute To Just 15 Minutes". WAMU.
  23. ^ Zakrzewski, Cat (July 11, 2019). Northeast Maglev’s Ian Rainey describes how high-speed rail would transform the Northeast region. The Washington Post (News). Event occurs at 1:17. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  24. ^ "Fastest maglev train". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  25. ^ "The Tokyo Osaka Maglev Project". Retrieved 2020-05-08.
  26. ^ Fujita, Akiko (April 21, 2017). "What it's like to hold Japan's super train golden ticket". CNBC.