Maglev, De-Railed

In announcing the release of some $26.4 million in Federal money to the Commonwealth for rail improvements, left at the station is the proposed high-speed Maglev project that would have connected Pittsburgh International Airport to Greensburg in Westmoreland County (passing through Downtown Pittsburgh). The project sought $2.3 billion, and received zero.

One could say that the writing was on the wall when the U.S. Secretary for Transportation noted in a visit to Pittsburgh that Maglev (in general) is "very expensive" and that the administration had more interest in developing high-speed rail. Sure, backers of Maglev here locally were awarded some $28 million in September to study the feasibility of the Airport link, which was originally estimated to cost $3.75 billion to link to Greensburg.

Pennsylvania did get the money it was seeking ($750,000) to study rail improvements between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, where AMTRAK service provides one daily trip (contract that with Harrisburg to Philadelphia service, which has 14 daily trips).

Who knows what this means for the experimental project that is Maglev, especially in western Pennsylvania. Maybe the transportation generosity was all used up on the North Shore Connector.