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Final Report on the National Maglev Initiative



 
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					Table of Contents

Preface 						P-1

Executive Summary					ES-1

Chapter 1: Background					1-1

  1.1   WHAT IS MAGLEV? 				1-1
	1.1.1 Suspension Systems			1-1
	1.1.2 Propulsion Systems			1-1
	1.1.3 Guidance Systems				1-2
	1.1.4 Maglev and U.S. Transportation		1-2
	1.1.5 Why Maglev?				1-2
  1.2	U.S. TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT			1-3
  1.3	MAGLEV EVOLUTION 				1-6
  1.4	THE NATIONAL MAGLEV INITIATIVE (NMI)		1-6
  1.5	ISSUES ADDRESSED IN THIS REPORT 		1-7

Chapter 2: Assessment of Maglev Technology		2-1
  2.1  ANALYSIS PROCESS					2-1
	2.1.1 Investigation of Critical Technologies	2-1
	2.1.2 Development of U.S. Maglev (USML) 
	      Concepts 					2-1
	2.1.3 Assessment of Technology 			2-2
	2.1.4 Cost Estimating				2-2 
  2.2	OVERVIEW OF SYSTEM CONCEPTS 			2-2
	2.2.1 Existing HSGT Systems 			2-2
		2.2.1.1 French Train a Grande Vitesse 
			(TGV)				2-4
		2.2.1.2 German TR07 			2-5
		2.2.1.3 Japanese High-Speed Maglev 	2-7			
	2.2.2 U.S. Contractors' Maglev Concepts (SCDs) 	2-8
		2.2.2.1 Bechtel SCD 			2-9	
		2.2.2.2 Foster-Miller SCD 		2-10
		2.2.2.3 Grumman SCD 			2-11
		2.2.2.4 Magneplane SCD 			2-12
  2.3	FINDINGS					2-13
	2.3.1 Opportunities for Technology Improvements 2-13
	2.3.2 Safety 					2-15
  2.4 SYNTHESIS OF A U.S. MAGLEV SYSTEM			2-16

Chapter 3: The Potential for Maglev Application in U.S. 
           Intercity Transportation 			3-1
  3.1  OVERVIEW						3-1
  3.2  ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND METHOD 			3-1

iii


Chapter 3: The Potential Maglev Application in U.S. 
           Intercity Transportation (Cont'd)		3-1
	3.2.1 General Approach 				3-1
	3.2.2 Routes and Scenarios 			3-2
	3.2.3 Trip Times 				3-4
	3.2.4 Fares 					3-7
	3.2.5 Ridership and Revenues Estimation 	3-7
	3.2.6 Cost Estimation 				3-7
	3.2.7 Financial Assessment 			3-8
	3.2.8 Public Benefits 				3-9

  3.3   ESTIMATES OF MAGLEV RIDERSHIP, REVENUE, AND COSTS 3-9
	3.3.1 Corridor Financial Feasibility Results 	3-9
	3.3.2 Corridor Costs 				3-12
	3.3.3 Corridor Ridership and Revenues 		3-14
	3.3.4 Intercorridor Impacts on Financial 
	      Performance	 			3-18
	3.3.5 Effect of Alignment on Financial 
              Performance 				3-20
	3.3.6 Financial Potential of Maglev in Other 
              Corridors 				3-21
  3.4   PUBLIC BENEFITS OF MAGLEV 			3-21
        3.4.1 Airport Congestion Relief Benefit 	3-21
        3.4.2 Impacts on Petroleum Usage, Emissions,
	     and Safety 				3-25
  3.5   OTHER NATIONAL IMPACTS OF MAGLEV 		3-25
	3.5.1 Employment Implications 			3-26
	3.5.2 Technological Advancement and Spinoffs 	3-26
	3.5.3 International Competitiveness 		3-28

Chapter 4: Comparisons of U.S. Maglev with Existing HSGT 
           Systems-   Transrapid (TRO7) and TGV		4-1
  4.1   OVERVIEW					4-1
  4.2   ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND METHODS			4-1
  4.3   ECONOMIC COMPARISON OF HSGT TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS	4-2
  	4.3.1 Sources of Economic Differences		4-2
	4.3.2 Comparisons of Corridor Financial 
              Performance 				4-5
	4.3.3 Public Benefit Comparisons		4-12

Chapter 5: Options For Acquiring Maglev Technology	5-1
  5.1   INTRODUCTION					5-1
  5.2	DESCRIPTION OF OPTIONS 				5-1
	5.2.1 Reliance on Existing Foreign Technology	5-1		
	5.2.2 Improvement on Existing Technology Through 
              Joint Venture with Foreign Maglev System 
               Developer				5-2
	5.2.3 Development of a USML System 		5-3
		5.2.3.1 Background 			5-3
		5.2.3.2 USML Development Program 	5-3
  5.3	EVALUATION/RATING OF THE THREE MAGLEV OPTIONS	5-4

iv


Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations		6-1
  6.1	CONCLUSIONS 					6-1
	6.1.1  U.S. Industry Can Develop an Advanced 
               Maglev System				6-1 
	6.1.2  A USML System Has the Potential for 
               Revenues to  Exceed Life  Cycle Costs 
               in One Corridor, and to Cover Operating 
               Costs and a Substantial Portion of 
               Capital Costs in Others 			6-2
	6.1.3  A USML System Would Provide an 
	       Opportunity to Develop new Technologies 
               and Industries with Possible Benefits 
               for U.S. Businesses and the Work Force	6-3
	6.1.4  A U.S. Maglev is not Likely to be 
	       Developed Without Significant Federal 
	       Government Investment			6-4
  6.2	RECOMMENDATIONS 				6-4
  6.3	RECOMMENDED PROGRAM				6-5

Appendix A: Additional Information			A-1

Appendix B: List of NMI Participants			B-1

Bibliography						BB-1

Glossary						G-1

v


List of Figures

Figure 1.1  The Three Primary Functions Basic to Maglev 
            Technology					1-1
Figure 1.2  Electromagnetic Maglev			1-2
Figure 1.3  Electrodynamic Maglev			1-2
Figure 2.1  Artist Conception of French Train a Grande 
	    Vitesse HSR System				2-4
Figure 2.2  Artist Conception of the German TR07 Maglev
            System					2-5
Figure 2.3  Artist Conception of the Japanese Maglev 
            System					2-7
Figure 2.4  Artist Conception of the Bechtel SCD Maglev
            System					2-9
Figure 2.5  Artist Conception of the Foster-Miller SCD
            Maglev System				2-10
Figure 2.6  Artist Conception of the Grumman SCD Maglev 
            System					2-11
Figure 2.7  Artist Conception of the Magneplane SCD 
	    Maglev System				2-12
Figure 2.8  U.S. Maglev/German TR07 Maximum Available 
	    Acceleration				2-18
Figure 3.1  U.S. Map of Study Corridors			3-2
Figure 3.2  Comparison of Air and Maglev Trip Times by 
	    Distance					3-5
Figure 3.3  Trip Growth Rates for Air and Auto Modes	3-8
Figure 3.4A Estimates of Maglev Revenue-to-Cost Ratios 
	    for Baseline and Favorable Scenarios by
            Corridor Using a 7 Percent  Discount Rate	3-10
Figure 3.4B Estimates of Maglev Revenue-to-Cost Ratios 
            for Baseline and Favorable Scenarios by 
            Corridor Using a 4 Percent  Discount Rate 	3-11
Figure 3.5  Maglev Lifecycle Cost Distribution, NEC and 
            NYS Corridors  				3-14
Figure 3.6  Intercorridor System Definitions for 
            Network Analysis 	     			3-19
Figure 4.1  Trip Time By Technology 	                4-3
Figure 4.2  Passenger-Miles Per Route-Mile Limited 
            Sharing  Alignment-2020 	                4-5
Figure 4.3  Total Net Financial Assistance-7 Percent 
            Discount          				4-11
Figure 4.4  Net Financial Assistance Per Passenger 
            Mile @ 7 Percent Discount Rate, Year 2020	4-11
Figure 4.5  Energy Intensity of Intercity 
            Transportation Modes versus Stage Length    4-13
Figure 6.1 Prototype Development Plan							6-5


vi


					       List of Tables

Table ES.1 Cost and Performance of Different Systems 	ES-3
Table 2.1  General Performance Parameters 		2-3
Table 2.2  Technology Cost and Performance 		2-17
Table 3.1  Corridor Identification for Maglev Analysis 	3-3
Table 3.2  Summary of Differing Assumptions under Each 
           Scenario 					3-4
Table 3.3  Comparison of Line Haul and Total Trip Times
           by Mode for selected Corridor City Pairs 
	   (Hours)					3-6
Table 3.4  Maglev Initial Capital Costs by Corridor	3-13
Table 3.5  Diversion Rates Summary by Mode		3-15
Table 3.6  Level and Sources of Maglev Revenues by 
           Corridor, Year 2020 				3-16
Table 3.7  Sources of NYS Corridor Passenger Miles	3-17
Table 3.8  Impact of Intercorridor Network Travel on 
           Revenue/Cost Ratio (R/C)			3-20
Table 3.9  Comparison of Maglev Financial Measures for 
           Extensive  Sharing and Limited Sharing 
           Alignments					3-22
Table 3.10 Indicators of Maglev Financial Performance 
           for 26 study Corridors			3-23
Table 3.11 Calculation of Congestion Reduction Benefit 
           at Selected 	Airports			3-24
Table 4.1  Fare Level Assumptions by Technology and 
           Alignment, Percent of Airfare		4-3
Table 4.2  Total Initial Capital Costs Assuming a 7 
           Percent Discount  Rate ($ Billions)		4-4
Table 4.3  Revenue/Cost and Operating Cost Recovery
           Ratios over the Life of the Project Assuming 
           a 7 Percent Discount Rate 			4-6
Table 4.4  Revenue/Cost and Operating Cost Recovery 
           Ratios over the  Life of the	Project Assuming
           a 4 Percent Discount Rate 			4-7
Table 4.5  U.S. Maglev Advantage in Revenue Per Route 
           Mile (2020) over the TR07 and TGV 
           Technologies by Alignment 	            	4-8
Table 4.6  U.S. Maglev Advantage in Revenue to Cost 
           Ratio by Alignment 				4-8
Table 4.7  Operating Costs, Revenues, and Operating 
           Deficit/Surplus  2020 ($ Billions)	4-9
Table 4.8  Comparison of Financial Impacts Due to 
	   Intercorridor Effects on the East Coast 
           Corridor 					4-10		
Table 4.9  Average Percent Reduction in Intercity 
           Passenger Emissions Limiter Sharing ROWs, 
           16 Corridors-2020 				4-14
Table 4.10 Total Savings ($ Million) in Intercity 
           Passenger Emission Costs Limited Sharing
           ROWs, 16 Corridors - 2020 			4-15

vii

	
Table 4.11 Estimated Lives Saved as a Result of Diverting 
           Trips to U.S. Maglev on the Limited Sharing 
           Alignment 					4-15
Table 5.1  Evaluation of Maglev Options 		5-5
Table A1   Percentage Diverted from Highway and Air, 
           by Technology  (2020, Limited Sharing 
           Alignment) 					A-2
Table A2   Impact of Intercorridor Network Travel on 
           Revenue/Cost  Ratio(R/C) at 4 Percent 	A-3
Table A3   Trip Times (Hours) and Average Speed (MPH), 
           by Technology (2020, Limited Sharing 
           Alignment) 					A-4
Table A4   Total Initial Capital Costs Assuming a 4 
           Percent Discount  Rate($ Billions) 		A-5
Table A5   HSGT Person Trips, Passenger Miles, by 
           Technology (2020, Limited Sharing 
           Alignment) 					A-6
Table A6   Estimated 2020 Ticket Price and Financial 
           Assistance per Rider assuming a 7 Percent 
           Discount Rate (1991 Dollars) 		A-7
Table A7   Estimated 2020 Ticket Price and Financial 
           Assistance per Rider Assuming a 4 Percent 
           Discount Rate (1991 Dollars) 		A-8
Table A8   Estimated 2020 Cost per Passenger Mile 
           Assuming a 7 Percent Discount Rate (Dollars)	A-9
Table A9   Estimated 2020 Cost per Passenger Mile 
           Assuming a 4 Percent
viii


Preface

In June 1990, the Department of Transportation (DOT), 
responding to a directive from Congress, submitted a 
preliminary report on the technical and economic feasibility 
of constructing high-speed, intercity maglev transportation 
systems in the United States.  At the same time, the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers (USACE), also in response to Congress, 
submitted a preliminary implementation plan for the 
development of a U.S. designed maglev system.  In its report, 
the Department's preliminary conclusion was that some maglev 
routes could be built and run at a profit and that public 
benefits could justify public sector support on other routes. 
Although there was some indication of the opportunity for 
significant technological advances, the limited nature of the 
study was insufficient to develop recommendations for 
initiating a maglev program in the United States.  Further 
technical and economic investigation was recommended.

In April 1990, the DOT, USACE, the Department of Energy (DOE), 
and other agencies formed the National Maglev Initiative (NMI) 
to conduct and coordinate further research and evaluation.  The 
goals of the NMI were to continue the analysis conducted 
earlier in evaluating maglev's potential for improving 
intercity transportation in the United States and also to 
determine the appropriate role for the Federal Government in 
advancing this technology.  About $26.2 million was spent 
through FY 1992 on maglev technology research and economic 
analysis.  In FY 1993, an additional $9.8 million was 
appropriated to complete the NMI and conduct high priority 
research. Also, in December 1991, the Intermodal Surface
Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) authorized a $725 million
maglev prototype development program but no funding has been 
appropriated for FY 1992 or 1993, pending the results of the 
NMI.

The purpose of this report is to recommend future Government 
action regarding maglev.  The recommendation is based on 
private sector and Government information generated during the 
past 3 years concerning the viability of maglev as an 
intercity transportation alternative for the United States. 
The information includes the projected technical and financial 
performance of maglev in intercity markets in competition with 
other modes of travel, the anticipated external benefits such 
as reduction in pollution and congestion in other modes, and 
other national-level impacts.  The report considers the 
potential of a new United States Maglev (USML) system compared 
with that of alternatives using existing maglev technology or 
high-speed rail (HSR).

The report discusses three options for acquiring maglev 
technology for the United States.  The first option is to 
acquire maglev technology currently being developed in Germany 
or Japan.  The second option is to undertake advanced maglev 
development in partnership with Germany or Japan.  The third 
option is to invest in an advanced USML development program. 
Based on a comparison of the three options, the report 
recommends a program that is appropriate to and consistent 
with the Federal role in a national transportation strategy.

P-1


Executive Summary

High-speed magnetically levitated ground transportation 
(maglev) is a new surface mode of transportation in which 
vehicles glide above their guideways, suspended, guided, and 
propelled by magnetic forces.  Capable of traveling at speeds 
of 250 to 300 miles-per-hour or higher, maglev would offer an 
attractive and convenient alternative for travelers between 
large urban areas for trips of up to 600 miles.  It would also 
help relieve current and projected air and highway congestion 
by substituting for short-haul air trips, thus releasing 
capacity for more efficient long-haul service at crowded 
airports, and by diverting a portion of highway trips.

Strategic economic goals of job creation, technological 
advancement, international competitiveness, and petroleum 
conservation would be supported by the development and 
building of maglev systems.

Conclusions

This report presents the conclusions and findings of the NMI, 
a unique interagency cooperative effort of the Federal 
Railroad Administration (FRA) of the DOT, the USACE, and the 
DOE, with support from other agencies.  The findings are based 
on a series of comprehensive studies conducted over a 36-month 
period to evaluate the potential for maglev in the future U.S. 
transportation system and the role of the Federal Government 
in achieving that potential.  The principal conclusions of 
these studies are:

  .   U.S. industry can develop an advanced U.S. Maglev (USML) 
      system.

  .   A USML system has the potential for revenues to exceed 
      life cycle costs in one corridor, and to cover operating 
      costs and a substantial portion of capital costs in 
      others.  The high initial investment will require 
      substantial public assistance.

  .   A USML system would provide an opportunity to develop new
      technologies and industries with possible benefits for 
      U.S. businesses and the work force.

  .   A USML system is not likely to be developed without 
      significant Federal Government investment.

 U.S. Industry Can Develop an Advanced USML System

With an adequately funded program, U.S. industry would have a 
high probability of success in developing a U.S.-designed and 
built magnetic levitation system with physical performance 
capabilities better than those of existing maglev or highspeed 
rail (HSR) systems.  This conclusion is based on results of 
studies of critical technologies under 27 contracts sponsored 
by the NMI and on the evaluations and independent analyses of 
four system concepts defined under major contracts awarded by 
the NMI. Findings from these studies are as follows:

.  A U.S. 300-mph maglev system is feasible.

.  In locations where land is too costly or unavailable, 
   following existing rightsof-way (ROW) can be an acceptable

 
ES-1


   option.  A USML system can be designed to include tilting 
   mechanisms and high-powered propulsion systems that would 
   allow vehicles to follow existing ROW at very high speeds. 
   Tilt angles up to 30  and turning rates involved in following 
   existing ROW at high speed will be acceptable to most 
   travelers.

.  There are many cases where following existing ROW would not 
   be cost-effective.  A limited sharing (LS) alignment with
   shared use limited to urban areas permits higher operating 
   speeds, reduced guideway length, and shorter trip times. 
   Extensive Sharing (ES) ROW alignments tend to be inferior to
   the LS alignments in ridership, costs, and overall financial
   performance.

.  A USML system can be designed so that magnetic fields are 
   attenuated to normal urban levels without severe weight or 
   cost penalties.

.  A new USML system can be designed with new composite 
   materials and innovative vehicle components to reduce weight
   and energy consumption.

At the same time, promising innovations for further 
technological improvement were identified.  If proved 
effective, they would reduce the cost and improve performance 
of a USML system.  Most prominent among these potential 
innovations are:

.  Local commutation or individual control and activation of 
   each guideway propulsion coil for a linear synchronous motor
   (LSM) will lower capital costs while enhancing propulsion 
   performance.

.  Use of the same coil system to transfer auxiliary power from 
   the guideway onto the vehicle, as a spin-off of the locally 
   commutated LSM, will reduce on-board battery requirements and 
   associated vehicle weight.

.  Applying the rapid advances in power semiconductor 
   technology, in which the United States has a lead, will 
   reduce both capital and operating costs.  The savings result 
   from substantial reductions in size and weight as well as 
   improved efficiencies of power conditioning equipment for 
   both vehicle and wayside systems.

.  Electronic vehicle switching to replace current movable 
   mechanical switches in the guideway will result in higher 
   vehicle speeds and reduced headways, reducing trip time and 
   increasing system capacity.

Although none of these improvements are considered to "leap 
frog" the existing maglev designs, taken together, they 
represent a significant opportunity for U.S. industry to 
participate in the maglev competition.

Synthesis of the above NMI findings gives rise to what would 
be expected in a USML.  Table ES.1 below compares a USML 
technology that could result from a development program, with 
existing highspeed ground transportation (HSGT technologies. 
The costs shown on the first 2 rows of Table ES.1 include only 
distance-related costs of guideway structure, electric power 
supply, propulsion, and control systems. They do not include 
vehicle costs, the costs of major facilities, such as stations 
and

ES-2

Click HERE for graphic.

Note: (1) Modified Train a Grand Vitesse (TGV) proposed for 
          the Texas HSR System.
      (2) Includes only distance-related technology costs.
      (3) German Maglev System.
      (4) A construction financing cost is included in these 
          estimates using the 7 percent discount rate.

maintenance or control centers, land acquisition, site 
preparation, earth moving, tunneling or long span bridges, 
program management, and contingencies.  These factors are, 
however, appropriately covered in the economic analysis 
described below and in the third row of Table ES.1, which 
presents the spread of capital costs per mile for each 
technology over the corridors analyzed in the NMI studies.

It should be pointed out that the estimated costs for TGV are 
supported by significant operational experience in France and 
for TR07, significant test experience in Germany.  For USML, 
the cost estimates were derived from analytical studies by 
system contractor teams and are considered reasonable; yet, 
until a U.S. maglev system is built and operated in the United 
States, there is uncertainty regarding these estimates.

A USML System Has the Potential for Revenues to Exceed Life 
Cycle Costs in One Corridor, and to Cover Operating Costs and a 
Substantial Portion of Capital Costs in Others If a USML system 
with the characteristics shown in the above table were installed 
in the 10 top U.S. corridor markets, its revenues would cover 
operating costs, with substantial contribution to capital costs 
in all corridors.  In the Northeast Corridor, its revenues would 
cover total life cycle costs.  In the other corridors significant 
public investment would be required.  These projected results 
reflect the ability of the technology to offer the best 
door-to-door travel time for distances up to 300 miles and very 
competitive trip times even up to 600 miles.  They also, however, 
reflect the high cost of building such systems, $27 million to 
$46 million per mile, including

ES-3


site preparation and other costs that depend on terrain, 
degree of urbanization, and other factors.

The detailed economic results depend on the discount rate used 
in the calculations.  A 7 percent discount rate with constant 
dollar prices was used as the baseline rate for this report. 
When translated into market terms (where inflation is taken 
into account), it would be about 10 to 11 percent.  The 7 
percent rate is required to be used by the Office of 
Management and Budget for making economic decisions regarding 
all Federal Government sponsored or assisted projects.  It is 
intended to reflect the average return to capital investments 
in all sectors of the economy and, thus, the social 
opportunity cost of using resources for maglev investments. 
With a 7 percent rate USML revenues would be slightly higher 
than life cycle costs in the Northeast Corridor, but would 
cover only about 30 to 50 percent of life cycle costs in the 
other nine corridors.  Under more favorable assumptions about 
future travel growth, congestion, and cost of competing modes, 
two of the corridors would cover life cycle costs and the 
others would cover about 50 to 80 percent.

A 4 percent discount rate was also used for the same 
calculations as a sensitivity analysis.  When translated into 
market terms, this is representative of the type of financing 
that could be available to sponsors of high-speed ground--
transportation projects using tax exempt bonds.  In this case, 
in the Northeast Corridor, a U.S. Maglev system would produce 
a surplus of revenues about 47 percent above life cycle costs. 
In the other nine corridors, revenues would cover about 50 to 
80 percent of the life cycle costs. Under the more favorable 
assumptions, six corridors would cover total costs, with the 
other three covering about 75 percent.

Generally, revenue-to-cost ratios would be higher for USML 
versus both TR07 and TGV at both discount rates; however, 
outside the Northeast Corridor, where revenues are less than 
life cycle costs, USML would require higher public investment 
than TGV, though lower than for TR07.  In the Northeast 
Corridor, the revenue-to-cost ratio for USML would be about 
the same as for TGV at the 7 percent discount rate, but higher 
than for TR07, while at the 4 percent rate it would be higher 
than for both TGV and TR07.  The advantages for USML are more 
pronounced when it is compared to other systems using existing 
ROW, because of the superior ability of USML to operate on 
curves at high speed.

USML produces public benefits of reduced environmental 
pollution, petroleum consumption, and congestion at airports 
because of its ridership diversion from highways and air 
systems.  Generally, these public benefits are also larger for 
the USML than for TR07 or TGV because of its comparative 
attractiveness as an alternative to air and auto travel.

A USML System Would Provide an Opportunity to Develop New 
Technologies and Industries with Possible Benefits for U.S. 
Businesses and the Work Force

The development of a USML system would enhance U.S. 
competitiveness in HSGT, increase the Nation's productivity in 
related fields, and generate both high technology and 
construction jobs.  U.S. businesses would develop a competitive 
advantage in building the maglev systems

ES-4 


in the United States and possibly abroad.  There are a number 
of elements of the USML system that have significant potential 
for applications in other fields, giving U.S. business further 
advantages.  Finally, the technology development process itself 
would require an estimated 15,500 person years of direct and 
secondary labor-much of it consisting of high technology white 
collar jobs-at a time when the United States faces less than 
full employment of these resources because of decreased 
defense spending.

A USML System is not Likely to be Developed without 
significant Federal Government Investment

The technical and financial risk associated with development 
of maglev and the long-term payback involved are significant, 
and it is unlikely that private investors would finance a 
significant share of the development costs.  The major 
development costs will be associated with the vehicle/guideway 
interaction and propulsion/levitation/ guidance and control 
issues.  These are small relative to the high guideway 
construction costs encountered in an implementation phase.  The 
industry partners involved in these intricate development 
activities will not be the ones with the largest potential 
return.  The likelihood of industry supporting significant cost 
sharing is very low.  If maglev were implemented, the ultimate 
sponsors (i.e., the state and local governments) would be 
expected to share in the construction costs because they are 
the ones to ultimately benefit and at that stage, the payback 
period would be much reduced relative to the development 
timeframe.

The above principal conclusions suggest that, with significant 
Federal support, a high probability exists that U.S. industry 
can develop a maglev system that is superior to existing 
maglev and HSR technology.  This USML would be faster than 
existing HSGT systems and less expensive to build and operate 
than the German maglev system.  Recommendations related to such 
a development program are discussed below.

Options for USML

Options for developing a maglev system for the United States 
fall into several categories, including:

1. Reliance on existing maglev systems developed abroad.

2. Further development of existing maglev technology through 
   joint venture with Germany or Japan.

3. A program to develop a new USML.

Relying on existing maglev systems developed abroad has the 
advantage of lower development costs, but it also has the 
significant disadvantage of older technology that was not 
designed for U.S. markets.  The study has shown that there are 
significant opportunities in the United States for the 
application of HSGT technologies and that a U.S.-developed 
maglev system would perform better than existing HSGT 
technologies in some U.S. markets, in terms of costs versus 
revenues and public benefits.  Option one is not recommended.

Allowing joint ventures has advantages because it would enable 
the development

ES-5


program to benefit from the experiences and advances of 
established efforts.  However, a joint venture would be more 
acceptable if the principal efforts for redesign, test, and 
upgrading were carried out in the United States.

A program to develop a new USML system would have several 
advantages.  In addition to the possible development of an 
alternative for fast and convenient transportation between 
cities up to 600 miles apart, such a program would also do 
much to enhance the technological competitiveness of U.S. 
industry.  The disadvantages of such a development program are 
its costs and associated development risks.

Recommendations

The NMI has concluded that the potential benefits from a U.S. 
maglev system are sufficient to justify initiation of a 
development program.  During such a program, the remaining 
technological, economic, and environmental questions must be 
fully addressed so that maglev's full potential in an 
integrated transportation system can be understood.  Thus, it 
is recommended that the Federal Government initiate the first 
phase of a competitive-based USML development program to 
develop an advanced maglev system.  To benefit fully from 
recent maglev development abroad, joint ventures between U.S. 
companies and foreign companies should be permitted to the 
extent that development activities take place substantially in 
the United States.

It is further recommended, with select exceptions, that the 
maglev development program be implemented within the general 
framework of Section 1036 of the Intermodal Surface 
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.  The following 
modifications are recommended:

  . First, the time allowed for each of the phases should be 
    increased.

  . Second, the new system should be tested at full-scale at a 
    Government test site.

  . Third, the option for U.S. companies to involve foreign 
    partners in the new U.S. development effort should be 
    clarified.

Finally, because of the estimated development expense (about 
$800 million) and the technological and financial risks of 
such a development program, it is recommended that during the 
life of the program there be formal milestones.  These 
milestones will occur in December 1994 in addition to the end 
of each phase of the program, at which time the benefits and 
costs of the program can be reevaluated.  The first such 
milestone, in December of 1994, will be based in part on 
information available from the study of the commercial 
feasibility of high-speed ground transportation mandated under 
ISTEA.

A full description of the recommended approach is found in 
Chapter 6.

 
ES-6


Chapter 1: Background

1.1 WHAT IS MAGLEV?

Magnetic levitation (maglev) is a relatively new 
transportation technology in which noncontacting vehicles 
travel safely at speeds of 250 to 300 miles-per-hour (112 m/s 
to 134 m/s) or higher while suspended, guided, and propelled 
above a guideway by magnetic fields.  The guideway is the 
physical structure along which maglev vehicles are levitated. 
Various guideway configurations, e.g., T-shaped, U-shaped, 
Y-shaped, and box-beam, made of steel, concrete, or aluminum, 
have been proposed.

Figure 1.1 depicts the three primary functions basic to maglev 
technology: (1) levitation or suspension; (2) propulsion;
and (3) guidance.  In most current designs, magnetic forces are 
used to perform all three functions, although a nonmagnetic 
source of propulsion could be used.  No consensus exists on an 
optimum design to perform each of the primary functions.

1.1.1 Suspension Systems

The two principal means of levitation are illustrated in 
Figures 1.2 and 1.3. Electromagnetic suspension (EMS) is an 
attractive force levitation system whereby electromagnets on 
the vehicle interact with and are attracted to ferromagnetic 
rails on the guideway.  EMS was made practical by advances in 
electronic control systems that maintain the air gap between 
vehicle and guideway, thus preventing contact.


Click HERE for graphic.


To convert from feet to meters, multiply by 0.3048


Click HERE for graphic.


Variations in payload weight, dynamic loads, and guideway 
irregularities are compensated for by changing the magnetic 
field in response to vehicle/guideway air gap measurements.

Electrodynamic suspension (EDS) employs magnets on the moving 
vehicle to induce currents in the guideway.  Resulting 
repulsive force produces inherently stable vehicle support and 
guidance because the magnetic repulsion increases as the 
vehicle/guideway gap decreases.  However, the vehicle must be 
equipped with wheels or other forms of support for "takeoff" 
and "landing" because the EDS will not levitate at speeds 
below approximately 25 mph.  EDS has progressed with advances 
in cryogenics and superconducting magnet technology.

1.1.2 Propulsion Systems

"Long-stator" propulsion using an electrically powered linear 
motor winding in the guideway appears to be the favored option 
for high-speed maglev systems.  It is also the most expensive 
because of higher guideway construction costs.

"Short-stator" propulsion uses a linear induction motor (LIM) 
winding onboard and a passive guideway.  While short-stator 
propulsion reduces guideway costs, the LIM is heavy and 
reduces vehicle payload capacity, resulting in higher 
operating costs and lower revenue potential compared to the 
long-stator propulsion.  A third alternative is a nonmagnetic 
energy source (gas turbine or turboprop) but this, too, 
results in a heavy vehicle and reduced operating efficiency.

1.1.3 Guidance Systems

Guidance or steering refers to the sideward forces that are 
required to make the vehicle follow the guideway. The 
necessary forces are supplied in an exactly analogous fashion 
to the suspension forces, either attractive or repulsive.  The 
same magnets on board the vehicle which supply lift can be 
used concurrently for guidance or separate guidance magnets 
can be used.

1.1.4 Maglev and U.S. Transportation

Maglev systems could offer an attractive transportation 
alternative for many time

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sensitive trips of 100 to 600 miles in length, thereby 
reducing air and highway congestion, air pollution, and energy 
use, and releasing slots for more efficient long-haul service 
at crowded airports.  The potential value of maglev technology 
was recognized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation 
Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).

Prior to passage of the ISTEA, Congress had appropriated $26.2 
million to identify maglev system concepts for use in the 
United States and to assess the technical and economic 
feasibility of these systems.  Studies were also directed 
toward determining the role of maglev in improving intercity 
transportation in the United States.  Subsequently, an 
additional $9.8 million were appropriated to complete the NMI 
Studies.

1.1.5 Why Maglev?

What are the attributes of maglev which commend its 
consideration by transportation planners?

. Faster trips- high peak speed and high acceleration/braking 
  enable average speeds three to four times the national highway 
  speed limit of 65 mph (30 m/s) and lower door-to-door trip 
  time than high-speed rail or air (for trips under about 300 
  miles or 500 km).  And still higher speeds are feasible.  
  Maglev takes up where high-speed rail leaves off, permitting
  speeds of 250 to 300 mph (112 to 134 m/s) and higher.

. High reliability-less susceptible to congestion and weather 
  conditions than air or highway.  Variance from schedule can 
  average less than one minute based on foreign high-speed rail
  experience.  This means intra- and intermodal connecting times 
  can be reduced to a few minutes (rather than the half-hour or 
  more required with airlines and Amtrak at present) and that 
  appointments can safely be scheduled without having to take 
  delays into account.

. Petroleum independence-with respect to air and auto as a 
  result of being electrically powered.  Petroleum is unnecessary 
  for the production of electricity.  In 1990, less than 5 
  percent of the Nation's electricity was derived from petroleum 
  whereas the petroleum used by both the air and automobile 
  modes comes primarily from foreign sources.

. Less polluting-with respect to air and auto, again as a 
  result of being electrically powered.  Emissions can be 
  controlled more effectively at the source of electric power 
  generation than at the many points of consumption, such as 
  with air and automobile usage.

. Higher capacity-than air.  At least 12,000 passengers per hour 
  in each direction with potential for even higher capacities at 
  3 to 4 minute headways.  Provides sufficient capacity to 
  accommodate traffic growth well into the twenty-first century 
  and to provide an alternative to air and auto in the event of 
  an oil availability crisis.

. High safety-both perceived and actual, based on foreign 
  experience.

. Convenience-due to high frequency of service and the ability 
  to serve

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  central business districts, airports, and other major 
  metropolitan area nodes.

. Improved comfort-with respect to air due to greater roominess, 
  which allows separate dining and conference areas with freedom 
  to move around.  Absence of air turbulence ensures a 
  consistently smooth ride.

In contrast to the above attributes, there are other key 
issues that need to be considered, such as noise, 
electromagnetic fields, and right-of-way.  These issues, along 
with the above attributes, are addressed in the following 
chapters of this report.

1.2  U.S. TRANSPORTATION ENVIRONMENT

The transportation system in the United States has been much 
admired around the world.  Its extensive highway and air 
systems have facilitated business and leisure travel and 
contributed to a high quality of life for many Americans.  In 
1990, 429 million passengers traveled 342 billion passenger 
miles on commercial airlines.  Americans traveled 2 trillion 
passenger miles by car, truck, bus, and public transit and 6.1 
billion passenger miles on Amtrak.  The majority of these 
riders, however, traveled by car or airplane, often on 
overcrowded highways and through congested airports.  As 
population growth and shifts have occurred and travel has 
increased, these systems have become stressed.

On the highways, development trends and travel patterns in 
metropolitan areas are causing congestion on intercity routes. 
Intercity highway travelers are now subject to delays that are 
local in origin, especially during peak travel hours.  A 1989 
General Accounting Office report on highway congestion estimated 
that  by the year 2000, 70 percent of peak-hour travelers will 
experience highway congestion delays with costs to the Nation 
exceeding $100 billion annually.  Approximately 91 percent of 
all urban freeway delay occurs in 37 metropolitan areas with 
populations greater than 1 million people.  Many of these are 
the same urban areas suffering from air pollution.  A 1991 
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report, "The Status of 
the Nation's Highways and Bridges," stated:

By all performance measures of highway congestion and delay, 
performance is declining Congestion now affects more areas, 
more often, for longer periods and with more impacts on 
highway users and the economy than any time in the nation's 
history.

Congestion pricing and other management strategies, including 
the implementation of Intelligent Vehicle/Highway Systems 
(IVHS), which will allow electronic communication between 
roads and vehicles to ease traffic problems, will provide some 
congestion relief, particularly in metropolitan areas in the 
near term.  However, longer term strategies must be developed 
that address the problems of through traffic.

Commercial air traffic has increased by 56 percent between 
1980 and 1990 as consumer demand for fast intercity travel and 
deregulation brought more competition with lower fares in the 
airline industry.  To meet travel demand, airlines have used 
regional hubs to achieve more efficient use of aircraft and to 
offer more varied and frequent service.  This practice has 
accentuated traffic peaking as flights from

1-5

several origins are brought together within a short period of 
time at a single airport.  If peaking and adverse weather 
conditions converge, delays at one airport can cause backups 
to ripple throughout the air travel system.  Moreover, 
commuter/regional carrier growth strains the airport and 
airways system, contributing to congestion and delay by using 
up valuable landing slots that could be reserved for larger 
planes on more profitable, long-haul flights.

In 1987, 21 major airports experienced more than 20,000 hours 
of flight delays in air carrier operations at a cost of $5 
billion annually to American businesses and the aviation 
industry.  By the end of this century, if relief strategies are 
not developed, 18 additional U.S. airports could experience 
the same congestion at a cost of over $8 billion per year, 
even with some planned capacity improvements in place.  The 
public is likely to encounter greater costs, diminished 
convenience and quality of service, and possibly diminished 
safety if strategies are not planned now that take account of 
developing domestic and international travel needs.

Congestion on highways and airports wastes time and fuel and 
increases pollution.  It can constrain mobility to the extent 
that economic growth and productivity could be adversely 
affected.  Although system management and capacity improvements 
may provide some relief, adding more highway lanes and 
building new airports in or near the larger cities is becoming 
increasingly difficult.  Land is costly and scarce.  Adding new 
highway capacity in urban areas typically costs more than $15 
million per lane-mile.  The new Denver airport is estimated to 
cost about $3 billion.  There is growing concern that a 
continuation of the nearly exclusive reliance on flying 
and driving, particularly in the most densely traveled 
intercity corridors, will exacerbate environmental problems 
and constrain capacity even further, causing the 
transportation system to be more gridlocked and winglocked 
during the next several decades.

Moreover, current intercity aviation and highway transportation 
technologies are petroleum-dependent, accounting for 64 percent 
of total petroleum use.  Transportation-related petroleum use is 
expected to remain high and at a level 38.5 percent above U.S. 
petroleum production- contributing to the U.S. trade deficit and
dependence on oil imports with national security implications. 
It will be important to develop transportation alternatives 
that reduce petroleum dependency.

Added capacity can be provided in dense intercity corridors 
with a new High-Speed Ground Transportation (HSGT) alternative-
maglev, which is capable of approaching the high speed of the 
airplane, while offering some of the flexibility of the 
automobile.  Maglev, the fastest form of (HSGT), is more likely 
than high-speed rail to attract medium-distance travelers from 
air, as well as some drivers from the highway.  Maglev has the 
potential to complement existing transportation systems and 
help meet transportation demand with few environmental 
impacts.  Electrically powered, it would be virtually 
independent of petroleum-based fuels.  It would connect to the 
air and highway networks, smoothing their operations while 
reducing air and highway congestion, air pollution, and energy 
use.  Maglev can contribute to meeting the transportation needs 
of the future while improving the efficiency and lengthening 
the life of existing highway

1-5

and air facilities.  Investment in maglev development can 
invigorate U.S. technological expertise and facilitate the 
conversion of defense industry skills towards the solution of 
infrastructure problems.

1.3 MAGLEV EVOLUTION

The concept of magnetically levitated trains was first 
identified at the turn of the century by two Americans, Robert 
Goddard and Emile Bachelet. By the 1930s, Germany's Hermann 
Kemper was developing a concept and demonstrating the use of 
magnetic fields to combine the advantages of trains and 
airplanes. In 1968, Americans James R. Powell and Gordon T. 
Danby were granted a patent on their design for a magnetic 
levitation train.

Under the High-Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965, the 
FRA funded a wide range of research into all forms of HSGT 
through the early 1970s. In 1971, the FRA awarded contracts to 
the Ford Motor Company and the Stanford Research Institute for 
analytical and experimental development of EMS and EDS 
systems. FRA-sponsored research led to the development of the 
linear electrical motor, the motive power used by all current 
maglev prototypes. In 1975, after Federal funding for 
high-speed maglev research in the United States was suspended, 
industry virtually abandoned its interest in maglev; however, 
research in low-speed maglev continued in the United States 
until 1986.

Over the past two decades, research and development programs 
in maglev technology have been conducted by several countries 
including: Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and Japan. Germany 
and Japan have invested over $1 billion each to develop and 
demonstrate maglev technology for HSGT.

The German EMS maglev design, Transrapid (TR07), was certified 
for operation by the German Government in December 1991.  A 
maglev line between Hamburg and Berlin is under consideration 
in Germany with private financing and potentially with 
additional support from individual states in northern Germany 
along the proposed route.  The line would connect with the 
high-speed Intercity Express (ICE) train as well as 
conventional trains.  The TR07 has been tested extensively in 
Emsland, Germany, and is the only high-speed maglev system in 
the world ready for revenue service.  The TR07 is planned for 
implementation in Orlando, Florida.

The EDS concept under development in Japan uses a 
superconducting magnet system.  A decision will be made in 1997 
whether to use maglev for the new Chuo line between Tokyo and 
Osaka.

1.4 THE NATIONAL MAGLEV INITIATIVE (NMI)

Since the termination of Federal support in 1975, there was 
little research into high-speed maglev technology in the 
United States until 1990 when the National Maglev Initiative 
(NMI) was established.  The NMI is a cooperative effort of the 
FRA of the DOT, the USACE, and the DOE, with support from 
other agencies.  The purpose of the NMI was to evaluate the 
potential for maglev to improve intercity transportation and 
to develop the information necessary for the Administration 
and the Congress to determine the appropriate role for the

1-6

Federal Government in advancing this technology.

To achieve these goals, the NMI has conducted technical and 
economic analyses and market feasibility studies of maglev 
concepts, as well as research on associated energy, 
environmental, health, and safety issues.  In addition, four 
contracts were funded to define new or improved maglev system 
concept designs.  Total funding for the NMI activities through 
Fiscal Year (FY) 1993 is $36 million.  More than a hundred 
Government employees with appropriate expertise have been 
supporting the program in addition to another hundred contract 
personnel.

The challenge of the NMI was to integrate economic and 
technical findings to provide a basis for recommendations on 
the prospects for maglev in the United States.  Clearly, it is 
important to plan, analyze, and assess now in order to have an 
option that will be available some 15 to 20 years hence.

To initiate a new untried transportation system entirely 
through the private sector involves high capital costs and 
high risk that few, if any, investors are willing to take. 
Government institutional support and innovative financing 
strategies would be necessary for maglev development.  Such 
public support would be consistent with other past and current 
innovative transportation systems.  In fact, from its 
inception, the U.S. Government has aided and promoted 
innovative transportation for economic, political, and social 
development reasons.  There are numerous examples.  In the 
nineteenth century, the Federal Government encouraged railroad 
development to establish transcontinental links through such 
actions as the massive land grant to the Illinois Central-Mobile
Ohio Railroads in 1850.  Beginning in the 1920s, the Federal 
Government provided commercial stimulus to the new technology of
aviation through contracts for airmail routes and funds which 
paid for emergency landing fields, route lighting, weather 
reporting, and communications.  Later in the twentieth century, 
Federal funds were used to construct the Interstate Highway 
System and assist States and municipalities in the construction 
and operation of airports.  In 1971, the Federal Government
formed Amtrak to ensure rail passenger service for the United 
States.

1.5 ISSUES ADDRESSED IN THIS REPORT

Each chapter in this report addresses a different set of 
issues aimed at determining the potential for maglev in the 
United States and the Federal role in its technological 
development:

Chapter 2: The likely physical performance and cost 
           characteristics of a new maglev system designed and 
           built in the United States.

Chapter 3: The economic performance of such a system in 
           competition with other modes in specific intercity
           corridor markets, in terms of costs, revenues, and 
           public benefits.  Other national level impacts of 
           maglev, including effects on U.S. technological 
           competitiveness, both inside and out of the 
           transportation field, construction jobs, and other 
           macroeconomic effects.

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Chapter 4: The economic performance and public benefits of the 
           U.S. system compared with existing HSGT technology 
           such as the German TR07 maglev and French high-
           speed rail (HSR) Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV) 
           systems.  Whether the added cost of developing a 
           U.S. system is justified by economic performance.


Chapter 5: Comparison of the economic and national impacts of the
   	   following three options for acquiring HSGT technology:

	   . Acquire and install existing foreign systems.

           . Improve new systems through a joint venture with 
             foreign developers.

           . Develop a new U.S. designed system.

Chapter 6: The future role of maglev and recommendations on the 
           role	of the U.S. Government in its development.

 
1-8

Chapter 2: Assessment of Maglev Technology

2.1 ANALYSIS PROCESS

In order to determine the technical feasibility of deploying 
maglev in the United States, the NMI Office performed a 
comprehensive assessment of the state-ofthe-art of maglev 
technology.  The process included:

. Determining and analyzing relevant critical technologies.

. Defining conceptual maglev systems that reflected the ideas 
  and talent of U.S. industry.

. Assessing maglev concepts defined by U.S. industry and 
  comparing these concepts with foreign HSGT systems.

. Estimating the cost of constructing and installing a maglev 
  system, using U.S. technology concepts.

2.1.1 Investigation of Critical Technologies

The NMI office initiated the critical technology investigation 
in September 1990 by soliciting proposals from industry and 
academia through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).  There were 
over 250 responses to the BAA leading to the award of 27 
contracts totaling $4.4 million.  The contracts addressed 
innovative approaches for improving performance and 
reliability and for reducing costs of maglev systems.  Among 
the topics addressed by the contract work were: maglev route 
alignment and ROW; guideway sensor systems; noise of high-speed 
rail and maglev; aerodynamic forces on maglev vehicles; power 
transfer to high-speed vehicles; measurement and analysis of 
magnetic fields; application of cable-in-conduit conductors for 
maglev; safe speed enforcement; and parametric studies of 
suspension and propulsion subsystems.

In addition, since little data are available about passenger 
acceptance of the motions associated with advanced HSGT 
systems, the NMI funded an experimental investigation of ride 
quality criteria.  An airplane was used to simulate rapid 
banking, turning, acceleration, and braking of a maglev 
vehicle traversing a route through the grades and curves 
typical of an interstate highway.

2.1.2 Development of U.S. Maglev (USML) Concepts

The NMI initiated an assessment of U.S. industry's maglev 
development potential in November 1991 by awarding four System 
Concept Definition (SCD) contracts totaling $8.6 million.  The 
contract work was completed by September 1992.  Each of the 
four contractor teams defined a system concept by combining 
the key elements of maglev technology (i.e., vehicle, 
guideway, suspension, propulsion, braking, and control) into a 
total transportation system.  The systems were described in 
terms of conceptual design detail, performance, cost, safety, 
and other measures in order to illustrate their merit for 
application to a next-generation 300 mph (134 m/s) maglev for 
U.S. deployment.

2-1

2.1.3 Assessment of Technology

An independent Government Maglev System Assessment (GMSA) team 
made up of scientists and engineers from the DOT, DOE, Army 
Corps of Engineers, and experts from other Government 
organizations, evaluated technology aspects of the SCDs.  They 
also reviewed and compared foreign HSGT alternatives.

The evaluation process consisted of two steps.  The first step 
was to obtain or develop mathematical models of 
vehicle/guideway interaction, propulsion and power supply, 
magnet force relationships, and system performance over 
various trial routes.  The second step was to use these models 
to evaluate the various technologies in terms of system, 
vehicle, and guideway requirements such as speed, capacity, 
ride comfort, magnetic field effects, safety, structural 
integrity, and power systems.

2.1.4 Cost Estimating

USACE staff, experienced in estimating the costs of large 
civil construction projects, examined the SCD contractor cost 
estimates for the guideway structure and associated 
distance-related costs.  The USACE staff modified the 
contractor estimates where necessary to put each technology on 
a common basis, e.g., standardizing the guideway height and 
the contingency factors for overhead and profit.  Each SCD 
concept was evaluated in terms of five major components: 1) 
guideway structure; 2) guideway magnetics; 3) power 
distribution; 4) wayside control and communications; and 5) 
power stations.

The Government staff used a standard method to estimate the 
costs for each component of the U.S. baseline designs in the 
SCD final reports as well as for the French TGV high-speed 
rail system and the German Maglev TR07.  Additional information 
on this methodology is provided in Appendix A.  The data used 
for estimating TGV costs were taken primarily from the Texas 
TGV proposal, while the TR07 costs were taken from the 
Transrapid International/Bechtel proposal to build a maglev 
system between Anaheim, CA and Las Vegas, NV.  Cost estimates 
are not available for the Japanese high-speed Maglev system. 
The results of the Government cost analysis are presented in 
Section 2.4.

2.2 OVERVIEW OF SYSTEM CONCEPTS

The four SCDs that the GMSA team evaluated were developed by 
teams led by Bechtel, Foster-Miller, Grumman, and Magneplane 
as examples of potential U.S. systems.  The HSGT alternatives 
to which the SCD concepts were compared were the French TGV 
steel-wheel-on-rail system and the German TR07 Maglev system. 
The Japanese high-speed Maglev system is also described in 
this section, but is not included in Table 2.1 due to lack of 
performance information.  Table 2.1 summarizes the general 
performance results of the GMSA team evaluation.  The section 
that follows briefly describes the alternative foreign HSGT 
systems and the SCD concepts.

2.2.1 Existing HSGT Systems

Because there is no U.S.-based HSGT system in operation or 
under test, the GMSA team compared the SCD concepts

2-2

Click HERE for graphic.

* In order to maximize TGV performance, the 200 mph Texas TGV 
  was used for calculations of trip time in Chapter 4 of this 
  report.

to foreign technology.  Over the past two decades various 
ground transportation systems have been developed overseas, 
having operational speeds in excess of 150 mph (67 m/s), 
compared to 125 mph (56 m/s) for the U.S. Metroliner.  Several 
steel-wheel-on-rail trains can maintain a speed of 167 to 186 
mph (75 to 83 m/s), most notably the Japanese Series 300
Shinkansen, the German ICE, and the French TGV.  The German 
Transrapid Maglev train has demonstrated a speed of 270 mph 
(121 m/s) on a test track, and the Japanese have operated a 
maglev test car at 321 mph (144 m/s).  The following are 
descriptions of the French, German, and Japanese systems used 
for comparison to the U.S. Maglev (USML) SCD concepts.

 
2.2.1.1 French Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV)


Click HERE for graphic.


The French National Railway's TGV is representative of the 
current generation of high-speed, steel-wheel-on-rail trains. 
The TGV has been in service for 12 years on the Paris-Lyon 
(PSE) route and for 3 years on an initial portion of the 
Paris-Bordeaux (Atlantique) route.

The Atlantique train consists of ten passenger cars with a 
power car at each end.  The power cars use synchronous rotary 
traction motors for propulsion.  Roof mounted pantographs 
collect electric power from an overhead catenary.  Cruise speed 
is 186 mph (83 m/s).  The train is nontilting and, thus, 
requires a reasonably straight route alignment to sustain high 
speed.  Although the operator controls the train speed, 
interlocks exist including automatic overspeed protection and 
enforced braking.  Braking is by a combination of rheostat 
brakes and axle-mounted disc brakes.  All axles possess antilock 
braking.  Power axles have anti-slip control.

The TGV track structure is that of a conventional 
standard-gauge railroad with a well engineered base (compacted 
granular materials).  The track consists of continuous-welded 
rail on concrete/steel ties with elastic fasteners.  Its 
high-speed switch is a conventional swing-nose turnout.  The 
TGV operates on pre-existing tracks, but at a substantially 
reduced speed.  Because of its high speed, high power, and 
antiwheel slip control, the TGV can climb grades that are 
about twice as great as normal in U.S. railroad practice and, 
thus, can follow the gently rolling terrain of France without 
extensive and expensive viaducts and tunnels.

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2.2.1.2 German TR07


Click HERE for graphic.

The German TR07 is the high-speed Maglev system nearest to 
commercial readiness.  If financing can be obtained, ground 
breaking will take place in Florida in 1993 for a 14 mile (23 
km) shuttle between Orlando International Airport and the 
amusement zone at International Drive.  The TR07 system is also 
under consideration for a high-speed link between Hamburg and 
Berlin and between downtown Pittsburgh and the airport.

As the designation suggests, TR07 was preceded by at least six 
earlier models.  In the early seventies, German firms, 
including Krauss-Maffei, MBB and Siemens, tested full-scale 
versions of an air cushion vehicle (TR03) and a repulsion maglev
vehicle using superconducting magnets.  After a decision was made
to concentrate on attraction maglev in 1977, advancement 
proceeded in significant increments, with the system evolving 
from linear induction motor (LIM) propulsion with wayside power 
collection to the linear synchronous motor (LSM), which employs 
variable frequency, electrically powered coils on the guideway. 
TR05 functioned as a people-mover at the International Traffic 
Fair Hamburg in 1979, carrying 50,000 passengers and providing
valuable operating experience.

2-5

The TR07, which operates on 19.6 miles (31.5 km) of guideway 
at the Emsland test track in northwest Germany, is the 
culmination of nearly 25 years of German Maglev development, 
costing over $1 billion.  It is a sophisticated EMS system, 
using separate conventional iron-core attracting 
electromagnets to generate vehicle lift and guidance.  The 
vehicle wraps around a T-shaped guideway.  The TR07 guideway 
uses steel or concrete beams constructed and erected to very 
tight tolerances.  Control systems regulate levitation and 
guidance forces to maintain a -inch gap (8 to 10 mm) between 
the magnets and the iron "tracks" on the guideway.  Attraction 
between vehicle magnets and edge-mounted guideway rails 
provide guidance.  Attraction between a second set of vehicle 
magnets and the propulsion stator packs underneath the 
guideway generate lift.  The lift magnets also serve as the 
secondary or rotor of a LSM, whose primary or stator is an 
electrical winding running the length of the guideway.

TR07 uses two or more nontilting vehicles in a consist.  TR07 
propulsion is by a long-stator LSM.  Guideway stator windings 
generate a traveling wave that interacts with the vehicle 
levitation magnets for synchronous propulsion.  Centrally 
controlled wayside stations provide the requisite 
variable-frequency, variable-voltage power to the LSM.  Primary 
braking is regenerative through the LSM, with eddy-current 
braking and high-friction skids for emergencies.  TR07 has 
demonstrated safe operation at 270 mph (121 m/s) on the 
Emsland track.  It is designed for cruise speeds of 311 mph 
(139 m/s).

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2.2.1.3 Japanese High-Speed Maglev

Click HERE for graphic.


The Japanese have spent over $1 billion developing both 
attraction and repulsion maglev systems.  The HSST attraction 
system, developed by a consortium often identified with Japan 
Airlines, is actually a series of vehicles designed for 100, 
200, and 300 km/h.  Sixty miles-per-hour (100 km/h) HSST 
Maglevs have transported over two million passengers at 
several Expos in Japan and the 1989 Canada Transport Expo in 
Vancouver.  The highspeed Japanese repulsion Maglev system is 
under development by Railway Technical Research Institute 
(RTRI), the research arm of the newly privatized Japan Rail 
Group.  RTRI's ML500 research vehicle achieved the world 
high-speed guided ground vehicle speed record of 321 mph 
(144 m/s) in December 1979, a record which still stands, although
a specially modified French TGV rail train has come close.  A 
manned three-car MLU001 began testing in 1982.  Subsequently, the 
single car MLU002 was destroyed by fire in 1991.  Its 
replacement, the MLU002N, is being used to test the side wall 
levitation that is planned for eventual revenue system use.  The
principal activity at present is the construction of a $2 
billion, 27-mile (43 km) maglev test line through the mountains 
of Yamanashi Prefecture, where testing of a revenue prototype is 
scheduled to commence in 1994.

2-7

The Central Japan Railway Company plans to begin building a 
second high-speed line from Tokyo to Osaka on a new route 
(including the Yamanashi test section) starting in 1997.  This 
will provide relief for the highly profitable Tokaido 
Shinkansen, which is nearing saturation and needs 
rehabilitation.  To provide ever improving service, as well as 
to forestall encroachment by the airlines on its present 85 
percent market share, higher speeds than the present 171 mph 
(76 m/s) are regarded as necessary.  Although the design speed 
of the first generation maglev system is 311 mph (139 m/s), 
speeds up to 500 mph (223 m/s) are projected for future 
systems.  Repulsion maglev has been chosen over attraction 
maglev because of its reputed higher speed potential and 
because the larger air gap accommodates the ground motion 
experienced in Japan's earthquake-prone territory.

The design of Japan's repulsion system is not firm.  A 1991 
cost estimate by Japan's Central Railway Company, which would 
own the line, indicates that the new high-speed line through 
the mountainous terrain north of Mt. Fuji would be very 
expensive, about $100 million per mile (8 million yen per 
meter) for a conventional railway.

A maglev system would cost 25 percent more.  A significant part 
of the expense is the cost of acquiring surface and subsurface 
ROW.  Knowledge of the technical details of Japan's high-speed 
Maglev is sparse.  What is known is that it will have 
superconducting magnets in bogies with sidewall levitation, 
linear synchronous propulsion using guideway coils, and a 
cruise speed of 311 mph (139 m/s).

2.2.2 U.S. Contractors' Maglev Concepts (SCDs)

Three of the four SCD concepts use an EDS system in which 
superconducting magnets on the vehicle induce repulsive lift 
and guidance forces through movement along a system of passive 
conductors mounted on the guideway.  The fourth SCD concept 
uses an EMS system similar to the German TR07.  In this 
concept, attraction forces generate lift and guide the vehicle 
along the guideway.  However, unlike TR07, which uses 
conventional magnets, the attraction forces of the SCD EMS 
concept are produced by superconducting magnets.  The following 
individual descriptions highlight the significant features of 
the four U.S. SCDs.

2-8

2.2.2.1 Bechtel SCD

Click HERE for graphic.


The Bechtel concept is an EDS system that uses a novel 
configuration of vehicle-mounted, flux-canceling magnets.  The 
vehicle contains six sets of eight superconducting magnets per 
side and straddles a concrete box-beam guideway.  Interaction 
between the vehicle magnets and a laminated aluminum ladder on 
each guideway sidewall generates lift.  Similar interaction 
with guideway mounted nullflux coils provides guidance.  LSM 
propulsion windings, also attached to the guideway sidewalls, 
interact with vehicle magnets to produce thrust.  Centrally 
controlled wayside stations provide the required 
variable-frequency, variablevoltage power to the LSM.

The Bechtel vehicle consists of a single car with an inner 
tilting shell.  It uses aerodynamic control surfaces to augment 
magnetic guidance forces.  In an emergency, it delevitates onto 
air-bearing pads.  The guideway consists of a post-tensioned 
concrete box girder.  Because of high magnetic fields, the 
concept calls for nonmagnetic, fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) 
post-tensioning rods and stirrups in the upper portion of the 
box beam.  The switch is a bendable beam constructed entirely 
of FRP.

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2.2.2.2 Foster-Miller SCD

Click HERE for graphic.


The Foster-Miller concept is an EDS similar to the Japanese 
high-speed Maglev, but has some additional features to improve 
potential performance.  The Foster-Miller concept has a vehicle 
tilting design that would allow it to operate through curves 
faster than the Japanese system for the same level of 
passenger comfort.  Like the Japanese system, the Foster-Miller 
concept uses superconducting vehicle magnets to generate lift 
by interacting with null-flux levitation coils located in the 
sidewalls of a U-shaped guideway.  Magnet interaction with 
guideway-mounted, electrical propulsion coils provides 
null-flux guidance.  Its innovative propulsion scheme is called 
a locally commutated linear synchronous motor (LCLSM). 
Individual "H-bridge" inverters sequentially energize 
propulsion coils directly under the bogies.  The inverters 
synthesize a magnetic wave that travels along the 
guideway at the same speed as the vehicle.

The Foster-Miller vehicle is composed of articulated passenger 
modules and tail and nose sections that create multiple-car 
"consists."  The modules have magnet bogies at each end that 
they share with adjacent cars.  Each bogie contains four 
magnets per side.  The U-shaped guideway consists of two 
parallel, post-tensioned concrete beams joined transversely by 
precast concrete diaphragms.  To avoid adverse magnetic 
effects, the upper posttensioning rods are FRP.  The high-speed 
switch uses switched null-flux coils to guide the vehicle 
through a vertical turnout.  Thus, the Foster-Miller switch 
requires no moving structural members.

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2.2.2.3 Grumman SCD


Click HERE for graphic.


The Grumman concept is an EMS with similarities to the German 
TR07.  However, Grumman's vehicles wrap around a Y-shaped 
guideway and use a common set of vehicle magnets for 
levitation, propulsion, and guidance.  Guideway rails are 
ferromagnetic and have LSM windings for propulsion.  The 
vehicle magnets are superconducting coils around 
horseshoe-shaped iron cores.  The pole faces are attracted to 
iron rails on the underside of the guideway. 
Nonsuperconducting control coils on each iron-core leg 
modulate levitation and guidance forces to maintain a 1.6 inch 
(40 mm) air gap.  No secondary suspension is required to maintain
adequate ride quality.  Propulsion is by conventional LSM 
embedded in the guideway rail.

Grumman vehicles may be single- or multi-car consists with 
tilt capability.  The innovative guideway superstructure 
consists of slender Y-shaped guideway sections (one for each 
direction) mounted by outriggers every 15-feet to a 90-foot 
(4.5 m to a 27 m) spline girder.  The structural spline girder 
serves both directions.  Switching is accomplished with a 
TR07-style bending guideway beam, shortened by use of a 
sliding or rotating section.

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2.2.2.4	Magneplane SCD

Click HERE for graphic.


The Magneplane concept is a single-vehicle EDS using a 
trough-shaped 0.8 inch (20 mm) thick aluminum guideway for 
sheet levitation and guidance.  Magneplane vehicles self-bank 
up to 45 degrees in curves.  Earlier laboratory work on this 
concept validated the levitation, guidance, and propulsion 
schemes.  Superconducting levitation and propulsion magnets are 
grouped in bogies at the front and rear of the vehicle.  The 
centerline magnets interact with conventional LSM windings for 
propulsion and also generate some electromagnetic 
"roll-righting torque" called the keel effect.  The magnets on 
the sides of each bogie react against the aluminum guideway 
sheets to provide levitation.

The Magneplane vehicle uses aerodynamic control surfaces to 
provide active motion damping.  The aluminum levitation sheets 
in the guideway trough form the tops of two structural 
aluminum box beams.  These box beams are supported directly on 
piers.  The high-speed switch uses switched null-flux coils to 
guide the vehicle through a fork in the guideway trough.  Thus, 
the Magneplane switch requires no moving structural members.

2-12

2.3 FINDINGS

2.3.1 Opportunities for Technology Improvements

A major factor leading to the creation of the NMI was the 
myriad claims by USML proponents regarding opportunities for 
technological improvements relative to foreign maglev systems. 
The NMI critical technology investigation focused on these 
claims.  Some have been verified, while others appear to be 
unfounded or exaggerated.  The following are some of the 
significant findings from the technology investigation:

. A U.S. 300-mph (500 km/h) maglev system is feasible.  U.S. 
  industry and academia have the capability to compete with 
  foreign maglev developments.  Assessment of the four conceptual 
  designs elicited from U.S. firms concludes there are many 
  areas where improvements can be made with systems more suited 
  to U.S. geography and demographics.

. Tilting mechanisms have been designed for maglev vehicles that 
  allow them to follow existing ROW at speeds substantially 
  higher than the design speed of existing maglev technologies. 
  In those cases where land is unavailable or too costly, this 
  will provide an acceptable alternative route.

. In connection with the above finding, it has also been 
  established by experiment that most people do not suffer ill 
  effects from the large tilt angles and rates of turn involved 
  in following existing ROW at high speed.

. Magnetic fields created by a maglev system can be attenuated 
  to normal urban levels without severe weight or cost 
  penalties.  Measurements of magnetic fields aboard existing 
  transportation systems reveal that fields substantially in 
  excess of ambient occur in and around certain electrically 
  powered systems, just as is the case with many home and office 
  appliances.  However, the steady magnetic fields measured 
  aboard the Transrapid Maglev vehicle are no greater than the 
  earth's field.  Although the magnetic fields generated by 
  superconducting magnets are greater than the Transrapid 
  values, design approaches exist to maintain the fields in the 
  passenger compartment to acceptable levels.

. Procedures have been identified for the use of new composite 
  materials and innovative vehicle and component designs, which 
  can reduce the weight of maglev vehicles and energy 
  consumption.  In addition, the application of sophisticated 
  manufacturing and erection techniques to guideway construction 
  may greatly reduce the transportation and site preparation 
  costs associated with building in or near existing ROW.

. Overcoming aerodynamic drag on vehicles is the dominant factor 
  in energy consumption at 300 mph (134 m/s).  Research shows 
  there are ways of reducing drag which provides a fruitful area 
  for additional research.

. Maglev systems can offer significant energy savings relative 
  to air and auto when configured in multiple-car consists due 
  to less than the proportional increase in aerodynamic

2-13
 
  drag.  However, there appears to be no energy advantage for 
  single or dual car consists.

. Maglev has the potential for being quieter than conventional 
  trains at speeds below 155 mph (69 m/s), which is an important 
  consideration when traveling in urban areas where speed 
  restrictions will most likely be in place.  At speeds above 155 
  mph (69 m/s), most of the noise produced by a vehicle is of 
  aereodynamic origin, whether it is on rail or levitated.  As in 
  other transportation modes, methods exist to alleviate noise 
  where necessary.

. The power semiconductors that are required to regulate the 
  propulsion currents in the guideway will require improvements 
  in the state of the art, particularly in regard to bringing 
  costs down.  U.S. manufacturers are in a favorable position to 
  accomplish this and improve their market position with respect 
  to allied products as well.

. Developments in high temperature superconductors have made 
  such progress in the past 2 years that it is prudent to 
  consider designs for superconducting magnets and cryostats 
  which incorporate this new technology.  Avoiding very low 
  temperatures would reduce complexity, weight, and operating 
  and maintenance costs for cryogenic systems.

. Innovative operational strategies, such as single-car, 
  nonstop, point-to-point service, can provide faster travel 
  between suburban stations, making the maglev system more 
  competitive relative to the automobile.

. Maglev systems can take advantage of existing infrastructure 
  to provide access to city centers and intermodal facilities. 
  In many cities, existing bridges, tunnels, and transportation 
  corridors are not being used to full capacity and could be 
  inexpensively modified to accommodate maglev.  Techniques exist 
  for coupling maglev vehicles to, or mounting them on, rail 
  vehicles to provide near term access to rail terminals until 
  maglev facilities can be built in these congested areas.

. The large air gaps made possible with superconducting magnets 
  do not appear to lead to any significant guideway cost savings 
  compared to small gap EMS systems.  Ride quality, rather than 
  gap control, is the significant factor in setting guideway 
  precision and rigidity requirements.  However, large air gaps 
  do enhance the safety of the system by increasing the 
  tolerance to nondesign irregularities arising from damage, 
  earthquakes, or improper maintenance.

. In order to take full advantage of a large air gap, a 
  suspension with sophisticated characteristics, such as some 
  combination of feedback, preview, and adaptive control, is 
  needed.  Such a suspension may allow lower guideway fabrication 
  and maintenance tolerances, consequently reducing associated 
  costs.  While the current SCD designs are capable of traversing 
  a single large perturbation of guideway geometry, these 
  suspensions cannot traverse repeated guideway irregularities 
  and offer a comfortable ride.  Research to determine the 
  optimum suspension force-control characteristic is ongoing.

 2-14

In addition to the preceding findings, several worthwhile 
innovations surfaced as a result of the SCD work.  Examples 
are:


. An advanced, high power, efficient propulsion system and a 
  30-degree tilt capability would allow maglev to negotiate 
  existing highway or railroad ROW, where that is the preferred 
  option, at much higher average speeds than is possible with 
  the existing German Transrapid and Japanese systems.

. The individual control and activation of each guideway 
  propulsion coil for the LSM, known as local commutation, was 
  once regarded as impractical.  Millions of silicon switching 
  devices would be required for an intercity route, but if the 
  trend of reduced costs with volume applies here as it has with 
  other semiconductor devices, the LCLSM will lower cost while 
  enhancing propulsion performance.  Research is in progress to 
  further assess this concept which could provide an important 
  strategic advantage for American competitiveness in 
  semiconductor technology.

. A spinoff of the locally commutated LSM is the capability to 
  use the same coil system to transfer auxiliary (hotel) power 
  from the guideway onto the vehicle, with an attendant 
  reduction in on-board battery requirements.  The advantage is 
  reduced vehicle weight and improved safety.

. Applying the rapid advances in power semiconductor technology, 
  in which the United States has a lead, will enable substantial 
  reductions in size, weight, and cost. Also, improvement in the
  efficiencies of power conditioning equipment for both vehicle 
  and wayside systems will be provided.

. Some of the SCD concepts allow maglev vehicles to make use of 
  completely electronic switches (turnouts).  These switches have 
  no moving parts and, therefore, could substantially reduce the 
  costs of achieving the tolerances required for rapid 
  activation.  Higher vehicle speeds through the switch and 
  reduced headways improve trip time and increase system 
  capacity.

. Novel helical winding designs for LSM may allow operation at 
  higher voltages with improved electrical efficiency, better 
  power factor, and no component and installation cost penalty.

2.3.2 Safety

Studies have been underway for the last 2 years in the FRA's 
Office of Research and Development on the subject of highspeed 
guided ground transportation safety.  The key areas that may be 
of concern as any maglev technology moves towards 
implementation in the United States are:

. High-speed collision avoidance (automation, guideway 
  integrity, shared ROW).

. Adequate protection for high mass low speed collisions and low 
  mass high-speed collisions.

. Emergency response plans and procedures (fire safety, 
  evacuation methods, training).

. Electromagnetic field generation and effects (passengers, 
  workers, public).

2-15

. Operational issues (weather, automation and human factors, 
  etc.).

Included in the overall assessment of maglev technology are 
the safety concepts from both design and operational view 
points.  Current safety studies do not indicate any 
safety-related issues that cannot be accommodated through 
system safety design considerations in an appropriate 
development program.

As with aircraft, the high speed of maglev appears to make it 
infeasible to design a practical system that could withstand a 
high-speed collision.  Accordingly, the proper approach is to 
ensure that collisions do not occur.  Although this approach 
has not been used in U.S. railroad practice in the past, the 
fact is that foreign high-speed rail has a flawless record.

The Japanese Shinkansen has been in operation for 30 years, 
has carried 3.5 billion passengers, and has never had a 
high-speed collision nor caused a passenger fatality. 
Likewise, the French TGV has operated for 12 years, carrying a 
quarter billion passengers.  There has never been a passenger 
fatality on the grade-separated French high-speed line.  Thus, 
it is possible to reduce the probability of collisions to an 
acceptable level.  This must be the focus of the design for 
maglev safety as contrasted with crash survivability.

The overall safety of a USML system must be reviewed and 
analyzed from the start of the design phase right through and 
including the operational phase in an ongoing and systematic 
manner.  Keeping the overall safety of a maglev system within 
acceptable levels as the technology proceeds to the deployment 
stage will reduce the potential for unplanned design 
modifications or prohibitive operational restrictions or 
procedures that could threaten the basic viability of the maglev 
system.

2.4 SYNTHESIS OF A U.S. MAGLEV SYSTEM

The purpose of the SCD exercise was to provide an opportunity 
to show what U.S. industry was capable of doing relative to 
foreign maglev competition, educating the industry itself and 
the Government in the process.  It was not the intention to 
select a winner at this stage.  Instead, the NMI has attempted 
to employ all the information collected from the technology 
assessment process, take the best features therefrom, and 
synthesize them into performance capabilities of a USML. 
(Obviously, care must be taken to ensure that the components 
of such a USML system are compatible.)

For example, it is now clear that the structural properties of 
a maglev guideway, such as beam rigidity and accuracy of 
alignment, need to be the same for all maglev systems, because 
they derive from ride quality considerations which are the 
same for all passenger carrying systems.  Some of the SCD 
contractors arrived at more efficient girder designs, which 
are applicable to the other concepts.  We have incorporated 
appropriate associated cost savings in the economic model.

An economic model requires only a general description of a 
maglev system in order to predict costs, ridership, revenue, 
and the like.  Accordingly, the USML system which is 
incorporated into the economic model consists only of 
performance and cost data and does not
 
2-16

include, for instance, a depiction of the system. 
Specifically, the USML is defined in terms of maximum speed, 
acceleration, banking capability, grade and curving 
capability, and guideway and related costs as specified in 
Figure 2.8 and Table 2.2.  The principal features of the USML 
were chosen on the basis of reducing trip time on existing 
ROW, which appeared to be the intent of Congress, and is 
important to making maglev competitive with short haul air. 
This was accomplished by providing a 30  banking capability 
and a high performance propulsion system.  (Had other 
objectives prevailed, the USML could have been less energy 
intensive, less costly or even more comfortable, but only
at the expense of some other objective.)  It should be noted 
when referring to Figure 2.8 that the NMI work defined normal 
maximum ride comfort during acceleration to be 0.16g.  The 
additional acceleration capacity depicted for the USML 
represents potential power to maintain 0.16g, climbing steep 
grades and powering through turns such as might be required 
when following existing U.S.  ROW for highways and railroads.

The estimated guideway cost for USML, TR07 and TGV are shown 
in Table 2.2.  TR07 and TGV costs were obtained by analyzing 
published data, and the cost of the USML was based upon 
Government

Click HERE for graphic.


Note: (1) Modified Train a Grand Vitesse (TGV) proposed for 
          the Texas HSR System.
      (2) Includes only distance-related technology costs.
      (3) German Maglev System.
      (4) A construction financing cost is included in these 
          estimates using the 7 percent discount rate.


l g is acceleration due to earth's gravity, 32.2 ft/sec (9.8 
m/sec2).

2-17
 
Click HERE for graphic.

estimates and data provided by the SCD contractors (see 
Appendix A).  The costs in the first two rows of Table 2.2 
include only distance-related costs of the guideway structure, 
electric power supply, propulsion, and control systems.  They 
do not include vehicle costs, the costs of major facilities, 
such as stations and maintenance or control centers, site 
preparation, earth moving, tunneling or long span bridges, 
land acquisition, program management, and contingencies; 
however, all of these costs are included in the third row of 
Table 2.2 and in the economic analysis in Chapters 3 and 4 of 
this report.  These latter costs are site specific, but can add 
$9 million to $27 million per mile ($6 thousand to $17 
thousand per meter) beyond the technology cost.

Examination of Table 2.2 reveals several interesting features 
of the hypothetical USML.  If an elevated system is desired for 
reasons of safety, ROW access or other operational 
considerations, USML could offer some advantages.  It could 
provide the best performance (quicker accelerations leading to 
lower trip times) and the lowest technology cost.  For systems 
constructed mostly at-grade, the situation becomes more 
complicated.  TGV offers the lowest technology cost, but at 
significantly reduced performance.  However, as shown in Chapters 
3 and 4, the increased ridership and revenue resulting from the 
USML's anticipated higher performance offsets its higher costs. 
Thus, even for at-grade systems, the USML could offer an overall
advantage.  The USML also could offer a decided cost advantage 
over the TR07 at-grade.  The current design of the TR07 
requires that a guideway be supported by short piers, even 
at-grade, which precludes the full cost advantage of a 
continuously supported structure.
 
2-18

             Chapter 3: The Potential for Maglev Application in
             U.S. Intercity Transportation

3.1 OVERVIEW

This chapter explores how well a USML system, as defined in 
Section 2.4, would perform economically, in terms of revenues, 
costs, and public benefits, if such a system were built in 
specific intercity corridors.  Principal findings are that:

. Maglev revenues would cover operating costs and contribute to 
  the payment of capital costs in all but one of 16 corridors 
  studied.

. Using a 7 percent discount rate, maglev revenues would cover 
  total operating and capital costs in one corridor under the 
  baseline scenario*, but, for most of the other 15 study 
  corridors, revenues would cover only about 40 percent of total 
  costs.  The high initial investment will require substantial 
  public assistance.

. With a 4 percent discount rate one corridor's revenue would 
  exceed total costs by a wide margin for the baseline 
  scenario*, and for most of the other study corridors, revenues 
  would cover about 55 percent of total costs.

. Under a more favorable economic scenario*, financial 
  performance would be improved; 2 of the study corridors would 
  cover total costs at the 7 percent discount rate and 6 at the 
  4 percent discount rate.  Intercorridor system effects could 
  further improve financial performance.

. Maglev has positive social benefits from congestion, petroleum 
  and emission reductions and from improvements to passenger 
  safety which may justify the expenditure of public funds.

3.2 ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND METHOD

3.2.1 General Approach

Initially 26 corridors were identified where High-Speed Ground 
Transportation (HSGT) would be most likely to perform well. 
This identification was based primarily on the number of 
current air trips of less than 600 miles, since trips diverted 
from air travel have been shown to be the largest source of 
revenue.  Sixteen of these corridors were chosen for detailed 
analysis of maglev performance under various conditions.  These 
16 corridors are shown on a map in Figure 3.1 and listed in 
Table 3.1.  A listing of all 26 corridors is provided in Table 
3.10.

In each corridor the revenues, operating costs, and capital 
costs associated with a USML system were estimated for two 
different types of route alignments and two different 
"scenarios" using 1991 dollars.  Thus, it was possible to 
evaluate the performance in each corridor in purely financial 
terms (i.e., revenue versus cost) using measures such as the 
ratio of revenue-to-costs or the excess (or deficit) of 
revenues over costs.  In addition, public benefits attributed 
to maglev were


* See Page 3-4, Table 3-2 for definition


3-1
 
Click HERE for graphic.


estimated and, where possible, given a monetary value to 
determine the extent to which public benefits could compensate 
for revenue deficiencies.

3.2.2 Routes and Scenarios

Two types of maglev alignments were considered:

. An alignment with extensive sharing (ES) of existing highway 
  and railroad ROW, with the shared portion amounting to about 
  80 percent of its length.

. A mainly new alignment with limited sharing (LS) of existing 
  highway and railroad ROW with the shared portion occurring 
  mainly in urban areas and amounting to about 35 percent of its
  length.

The lengths for the ES and LS alignments in the 16 study 
corridors are provided in Table 3.1.  The LS ROW for a corridor 
has fewer and less severe curves than the ES ROW and is 
usually shorter.  This permits higher maglev operating speeds, 
resulting in shorter trip times.

Two socioeconomic scenarios were considered: a "baseline" 
scenario using conservative assumptions, and a "favorable" 
scenario using less conservative assumptions.

The assumptions for each scenario are listed in Table 3.2.

3-2

Click HERE for graphic.
 
3-3

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3.2.3 Trip Times

Trip times for maglev and competing modes of travel were 
estimated under a consistent set of assumptions regarding 
their respective operating environments, and these trip times 
were used in estimating the percentage of trips diverted to 
maglev.  Trip times included estimates for terminal access and 
egress times at either end of the trip and time spent in 
terminals. The time on the maglev line itself between each pair 
of stations was obtained by simulating the operation of a USML 
vehicle with a particular pattern of intermediate stops, urban 
speed limits, and technical characteristics such as top speed, 
rates of acceleration and deceleration, and bank angles when 
rounding curves.  The routes were generated based on maps and 
geographic information systems and made use of highway 
location and topographic information.

3-4 

Figure 3.2 provides a comparison of maglev and air trip times. 
Maglev has a line haul trip time advantage over air up to 
about 200 miles, and a total trip time advantage over air up 
to about 300 miles.  Maglev's total trip time disadvantage is 
relatively small even at 600 miles suggesting that some air 
passengers in such markets would divert to maglev.

Demand for maglev is strongest in markets where its trip times 
compare favorably to those of other competing modes.  Table 3.3 
compares line haul and total (including terminal access, etc.) 
trip times for the maglev, auto, and air modes between end point 
metropolitan areas for 16 study corridors in the year 2000.  
These are estimates of trip times travelers would actually 
experience for both air and maglev.

As illustrated in Table 3.3, the line haul trip time for 
maglev is greater than air

Click HERE for graphic.


Notes: (1) Maglev line haul trip time based on use of the LS 
           alignment. 
       (2) Data are averages for city pairs from the 16 study 
           corridors in each distance range. 
       (3) Total trip time  includes in-terminal processing time 
           and time for local access and egress to terminals.
       (4) Trip time estimates include appropriate adjustments 
           for congestion delays, stops, speed restrictions, etc.

3-5

 Click HERE for graphic.

3-6


unless the short distance gives maglev a slight advantage. 
This table also shows, however, that when total trip time is 
considered, the air mode's advantage over maglev is generally 
reduced or eliminated because of the maglev mode's usual 
advantage in terminal access and processing time.  Most other 
city pairs in the study corridors are closer together than 
those listed in these tables, thus having maglev trip times 
that are more favorable relative to air than those listed.  The 
maglev's trip time advantage relative to the auto mode is also 
evident, especially for city pairs that are separated by long 
distances.

3.2.4 Fares

Regarding fares and auto operating costs, maglev competes 
primarily with air, consequently, maglev fares are expressed 
as a percentage of the air fare calculated for each market.  A 
value of 90 percent was used, but lowered in markets where the 
maglev mode had a large trip time disadvantage.  The fare used 
for the USML design was at or close to the net revenue-
maximizing fare.

3.2.5 Ridership and Revenues Estimation

Estimating maglev revenue involved five steps.  First, 1988 
trips by mode (air, auto, and rail) were estimated for each 
origin/destination (OD) market and allocated between business 
and nonbusiness purposes.  Second, these trips were forecast 
for the years 2000 to 2030 at 10-year intervals.  Third, maglev 
diversions from each mode/purpose category were estimated 
using a mathematical model of predicted passenger behavior. 
Relative trip times, fares, and frequencies of service of
the competing modes were used to estimate the percentage of 
trips that would be diverted to maglev.  Fourth, the maglev 
trips in each category were multiplied by the maglev fare. 
Fifth, the totals were increased by 10 or 20 percent to 
reflect induced travel.  The process included adjustments for 
special circumstances associated with intercity markets under 
85 miles and the air passenger transfer market.

A key step in the process is the projection of trips over the 
study period.  While growth rates differ by mode and city pair, 
the overall pattern is summarized for the 16 corridors in 
Figure 3.3.  The growth rate for air is higher than for auto, 
averaging 2.4-percent per year.  This is considerably below the 
air 5.2 percent growth rate from 1978 to 1988, but it leads to 
2030 air trips increasing to about 2.7 times their 1988 
levels.

3.2.6 Cost Estimation

Estimating the cost of constructing the USML system took into 
account not only the "technology costs" discussed in Section 
2.4, but also nontechnology costs elements such as ROW 
preparation, surveying, fencing, access roads, land 
acquisition, traffic control, and demolition/ reconstruction 
of existing buildings, roads, and utilities.  Costs were 
estimated for combinations of terrain and degree of 
urbanization, taking into account whether existing ROW was to 
be used, the percentage of the maglev guideway estimated to be 
at grade or elevated, and regional construction cost 
variations.

Estimates of operating costs were based on providing a 
full-service organization to run the system in each separate 
corridor.  Personnel levels were estimated according to

3-7

the size and length of the system and the amount of service 
provided, assuming an average load factor of 65 percent.  Costs 
of energy and materials were also included.

3.2.7 Financial Assessment

Most of the financial assessment in this section involves the 
use of either the revenue-to-cost ratio or the difference 
between revenues and costs associated with building and 
operating a USML system.  These values are developed by first
discounting future revenues for the years 2000 to 2040 back to 
the year 200O, a hypothetical year when operations might 
begin.  It is intended to reflect the average return to capital 
investments in all sectors of the economy and thus, the social 
opportunity cost of using resources for maglev investments.  It 
should be considered that initial capital costs would occur on 
average 1.5 years before opening.  Therefore, instead of using 
a discount factor, a 1.5-year premium was added to the cost.

Click HERE for graphic.

Notes: (1) Corridor and overall averages are weighted using 
           city pair trips as weights. 
       (2) Underlying growth rates estimated from regional 
           demographic and economic trends. 
       (3) Average annual growth rate for air is 2.4 percent and
           auto is 1.5 percent. 
       (4) The "high" and "low" figures for air represent the 
           fastest (Florida) and the slowest (Chicago Detroit) 
           growth corridors, respectively.

3-8

 
A discount rate of 7 percent with constant dollar values was 
used.  This is the equivalent of 10.5 or 11 percent in market 
terms (where inflation is taken into account instead of using 
constant dollars) and is required to be used by the Office of 
Management and Budget for making economic decisions regarding 
all Federal Government sponsored or assisted projects.  It is 
intended to reflect the average return to capital investments 
in all sectors of the economy and, thus, the social 
opportunity cost of using resources for maglev investments.  It 
should be considered as a "baseline" discount rate for the 
purpose of this report.

In addition, a discount rate of 4 percent with constant dollar 
values was also used as sensitivity analysis, to reflect the 
type of bond financing that is likely to be available to 
sponsors of HSGT projects in the future.  When translated into 
market terms, 4 percent is the equivalent of 7.5 or 8 percent. 
The market yield of tax exempt interest state and municipal 
bonds is now about 6 percent and the Administration has 
supported making available such tax-free interest financing, 
without annual limits, to sponsors of HSGT projects. 
Therefore, the rate used is somewhat higher than the tax-free 
bond rate and would allow a slight margin for risk and/or 
higher prevailing rates in the future.  Nevertheless, the 
7-percent constant dollar rate should be used as the primary 
basis in benefit/cost analysis for Government decision making.

3.2.8

Estimates were made of benefits from the relief of air 
congestion, reductions of petroleum usage and emissions of 
airborne chemicals, and safety improvements.

The procedure for air congestion relief was to estimate the 
reduction in the future growth of traffic at key airports due 
to diversion to maglev and to estimate the effect of this on 
the average delay for people who continue to use the airports. 
Reduced levels of petroleum usage and emissions and safety 
impacts were estimated from the altered modal distributions of 
passenger miles and the projected petroleum usage and emission 
and safety rates of those modes.

3.3 ESTIMATES OF MAGLEV RIDERSHIP, REVENUE, AND COSTS

Revenue and cost estimates are derived from corridor-specific 
estimates of trip time and other factors affecting costs and 
trip-making rates.  The maglev system analyzed is the U.S. 
technology as defined by the NMI, using the operational 
performance and cost estimates described in Section 2.4.  The 
analysis focuses on the baseline scenario using the LS 
alignment as defined in Section 3.2, but some information 
regarding the favorable scenario and the ES alignment cases is 
provided also.

3.3.1 Corridor Financial Feasibility Results

Comparisons of revenue and cost estimates developed for 16 
corridors indicate that:

. For the Northeast Corridor (NEC)all costs using a 7 percent 
  discount rate, and considerably exceed costs with a 4 percent 
  discount rate.

. For 14 of the 15 other corridors, revenues would cover 
  operating costs,

3-9

  but only a portion of capital costs, using either discount 
  rate.

. If more favorable assumptions are made, revenues cover all 
  costs in 2 of the 16 comdors studied using a 7 percent 
  discount rate, and 6 of the 16 corridors with the 4 percent 
  discount rate.

. Alternative discount rates and project starting dates can 
  result in sizable changes to the revenue-cost comparisons.

Figure 3.4A provides estimated corridor revenue-cost (R/C) 
ratio information using a 7 percent discount rate for the 16 
study corridors on the alignment that uses only LS of existing 
ROW.  A value of 1.0 indicates a break even condition and the 
full bar widths are R/C values for the favorable scenario.  The 
dark portion of the bar indicates a corridor's R/C value for 
the baseline scenario.

The positive financial positions of the NEC under the baseline 
scenario and for the California corridor in the favorable 
scenario are evident.  These estimates also


Click HERE for graphic.


Notes: (1) Estimates based on present values to year 2000 
           using a 7 percent discount rate. 
       (2) Revenues and operating costs estimated for 40 years. 
       (3) Costs include initial construction, initial vehicles, 
           and future vehicle replacement and fleet growth. 
       (4) Corridor alignments based on limited sharing ROW case.

3-10

 reveal, however, that 3 corridors have significantly lower 
economic performance even under this study's favorable 
scenario.  Still, as will be seen in later sections, even some 
of these corridors can be significant links in a larger maglev 
system or network.

The R/C ratios of Figure 3.4A are computed using a discount 
rate of 7 percent.  A lower discount rate would raise these 
values.  For example, using a 4 percent discount rate for the 
NEC changes its R/C ratio from 1.03 to 1.47 and for the 
Dallas-Houston (Dal-Hou) corridor, the ratio changes from 0.48 to
0.72.  Results using the 4 percent discount rate for all 16 
corridors and both scenarios are provided in Figure 3.4B.

Some corridors might not begin operations until after the year 
2000, and this factor would also affect a corridor's estimated 
R/C ratio because of higher passenger demand.  For example, if 
2010 were used as the starting date for the California 
corridor, its R/C ratio would increase from 0.55 to 0.69 (7 
percent discount rate) or from 0.81 to 1.00 (4 percent 
discount rate).

Click HERE for graphic.



Notes: (1) Estimates based on present values to year 2000 
           using a 4 percent discount rate. 
       (2) Revenues and operating costs estimated for 40 years.
       (3) Costs include initial construction, initial vehicles, 
           and future vehicle replacement and fleet growth. 
       (4) Corridor alignments based on limited sharing ROW case.

3-11

While the R/C ratios summarize the financial performance of 
maglev in individual corridors, the dollar value of the 
revenue and cost estimates (as discussed below) are also 
important to the evaluation of the maglev technology as a 
potential intercity transportation system.  In particular, 
these estimates reflect:

  . Very substantial costs involved in building and operating 
    maglev systems in all corridors.

  . High levels of ridership attracted to maglev for many of the 
    corridors.

These cost and ridership estimates are at the high end, but in 
the general range of those used in previous studies of HSGT.

Finally, the analysis in this report, even though it 
considered factors particular to specific corridors, was 
designed to help reach conclusions about maglev applicability 
across the United States.  In some cases, more detailed surveys 
of potential ridership and more detailed cost analysis of 
routes have been undertaken to support decisions on specific 
HSGT projects.  The analysis in this report should not be 
considered a substitute for such studies of particular 
geographic areas.

3.3.2 Corridor Costs

The cost estimates used in the overall evaluation of corridor 
financial performance are discounted (present value) totals of 
all capital and operating costs over 40 years.  The key results 
in the cost area are:

. Initial capital costs for each corridor are substantial, 
  ranging from $5.7 billion to $21.4 billion (7 percent discount
  rate) or $5.5 billion to $20.5 billion (4 percent discount 
  rate).

. Technology-driven guideway costs are only about half of the 
  initial construction cost; costs for vehicles, stations and 
  other required ancillary facilities, civil reconstruction, 
  environmental mitigation measures, contingencies, and program 
  management make up the rest.

. Vehicle fleet costs are large in absolute terms, but only 
  about 5-10 percent of a system's total capital cost.

. Life cycle operating and maintenance costs are about 10-20 
  percent of total life cycle costs (20-25 percent with the 4 
  percent discount rate) and about 9 cents per passenger mile 
  for most of the study corridors.

The dominant cost category for all corridors is the initial 
capital cost of the system.  These costs range from $5.7 
billion to $21.4 billion (see Table 3.4) with high values 
reflecting longer distances and more urban area construction. 
The capital cost per mile ranges from $27 million to $46 
million, reflecting the variations in construction conditions 
among corridors.  It is lower per mile than the $50-100 million 
per mile cost of urban rail systems, mainly because intercity 
systems entail substantial rural (lower cost) mileage and 
because they have fewer stations per mile of guideway.

The maglev guideway is a major component of total life cycle 
cost, but other cost categories also comprise major portions 
of the total.  Figure 3.5 shows that

3-12

Click HERE for graphic.


Notes: (1) Estimates are for baseline scenario using the 
           limited sharing ROW alignment.
       (2) Guideway technology costs include the guideway beam, 
           supporting structures, and ale electrical and magnetic 
           components.
       (3) Other costs include vehicles, stations and other fixed 
           facilities, environmental mitigation costs, civil 
           reconstruction, non-technology site preparation work, 
           contingencies, and program management.
       (4) A construction financing cost is included in these 
           estimates using the 7 percent real interest rate.  A 4 
           percent rate reduces all table dollar values by 4.2 
           percent.

3-13

corridor specific information can lead to relatively large 
differences in economic results.

The estimates of corridor operating and maintenance costs are 
typically about 9 cents per passenger mile with a few low--
volume corridors considerably different than the average (as 
high as 37 cents per passenger mile and as low as 7 cents per 
passenger mile).  These costs are higher than the 3-5 cents 
used in some other studies of maglev.

3.3.3 Corridor Ridership and Revenues

Based on the NMI effort, the major conclusions about maglev 
ridership and revenues are:


. Diversion rates to maglev are highest for air origin/
  destination (OD) and rail passengers.
. The primary source of maglev revenue is from diverted common 
  carrier, especially air OD, passengers.
. Diversion rates from auto travelers average only 2.1-percent, 
  but diverted auto trips account for about 7-percent of revenue 
  because of the large number of auto trips from which 
  diversions are drawn.
. Corridor ridership and revenues for maglev generally come from 
  a multiplicity of city pairs and modal markets, often with no 
  single source accounting for 40 percent of revenues.

Click HERE for graphic.

3-14

Maglev ridership and revenues arise mainly as a result of 
diversions from existing modes, especially air.  These 
diversions are estimated by applying modal diversion rates to 
projected modal trips for each city pair and trip purpose and 
multiplying by projected fare levels.  The modal diversion 
rates are estimated for the auto, rail, air origin/destination 
(OD), and air transfer (TR) modes.  Table 3.5 summarizes the 
corridor diversion rates by mode and gives the range 
(reflected by the highest and lowest value from the 16 
corridors) and the average value for the 16 study corridors 
(Appendix Table A1 contains corridor specific diversion 
rates).

The low diversion rates for auto occur because auto travelers 
cannot easily be shifted to a new mode that is similar to air 
in cost, trip time, and other characteristics.  Since auto 
travelers have chosen not to use air, few shift to the new 
mode which is similar to air, even though it often offers 
sizable trip time advantages over the auto.

The diversion rates for rail, air origin/destination (OD) and 
air transfer (TR) passengers, unlike auto, can be traced to 
the maglev trip time and fare advantages. Generally, if common 
carrier passengers are offered a competing service with 
similar cost, travel time, and comfort levels, significant 
numbers will elect to travel on the new mode.  The air transfer 
passenger diversion rates are lower than the air OD rates because
these passengers would encounter some extra transfer trip time 
and are not assumed to receive a discount in their total trip 
cost.  The air transfer diversion rates are also low in some 
cases because they are treated as zero for metropolitan areas in 
which there is no maglev station assumed at an airport.

Maglev revenues are estimated by combining diversion rates 
with market size and fares and adding in estimates for induced 
travel and short distance markets for which no diversions are 
estimated.  Table 3.6 summarizes the maglev revenue sources by 
corridor.

There are several noteworthy results evident in the Table 3.6 
estimates for the study corridors.  First, the primary source 
of maglev revenues is existing travelers using common carrier 
modes, especially air OD travelers.  Second, in many corridors, 
there are significant secondary markets beyond the air OD 
passenger.  Specifically, there are only 3 of the 16 study 
corridors that obtain as much as two-thirds of their expected 
maglev revenues from the air OD market and several obtain 
below 50 percent.  Significant potential markets for


Click HERE for graphic.

3-16

Click HERE for graphic.

Note: Bus trips used instead of rail trips for LA-LV estimate.

intercity HSGT would be missed in any study that focuses only 
on air OD trips.

Third, the joint influence of market size and diversion rates 
is seen in the estimates of revenues from the rail mode.  A 
corridor with large numbers of existing rail travelers derives 
a large proportion of its maglev revenue from the rail mode 
whereas a corridor with little or no rail 3-16 travel does not 
(even if the diversion rate is high). Fourth, the revenues from 
the auto mode are higher than might be expected given their low 
diversion rates.  This reflects the large absolute size of the 
intercity auto market in the study corridors.

The analysis of maglev financial performance in this study 
focuses mainly on corridors rather than individual city

3-16

pairs or complex networks.  For most corridors, reported costs 
and revenues are summaries for the multiple city pairs that 
would be served.  Connecting more points tends to enhance the 
overall financial performance of a corridor if the extra 
distance and circuity are limited.  This can be a key 
consideration in the planning and design of intercity systems 
and in comparisons among modal options.

Table 3.7 serves to illustrate this perspective by providing 
sources of estimated maglev passenger miles by category for 
the New York State (NYS) corridor.  The diversity of ridership in
terms of modal diversions and geographical patterns is clear and 
indicates the importance of evaluating all potential ridership 
sources for financial analyses.  Further, even though air 
diversions are usually the largest potential source of maglev 
ridership and revenues, focusing on single air OD markets can 
seriously understate maglev's potential.  Even the biggest market
in the NYS corridor, New York-Buffalo, comprises less than 30-
percent of the total estimated maglev market.


Click HERE for graphic.


3.3.4 Intercorridor Impacts on Financial Performance

A financial analysis of maglev corridors joined into small 
systems or networks was performed with the following results:

. Intercorridor connections can result in modest additions to 
  maglev ridership and revenues.

. The financial performance of intercorridor systems is somewhat 
  better than the average achieved by the individual corridors.

. In some cases, the financial performance of an intercorridor 
  system can be better than any of the corridors considered as 
  separate units.

Up to this point, demand and cost estimates have been 
presented for 16 independent corridors.  This section extends 
the analysis to corridor networks defined as combinations of 
adjacent corridors.  Traffic demand on these networks will be 
greater than the sum of demand of their component parts due to 
new intercorridor demand generated from city pairs with 
origins in one corridor and destinations in another.  However, 
diversion rates to high-speed ground modes might not be as 
great for intercorridor trips because trip distances will 
generally be longer and some trips might be expected to 
involve transfers.

Costs for the combined network are expected to increase much 
more modestly.  Operating, maintenance, and vehicle costs 
should be roughly proportionate to demand, but the capital 
costs (the largest component of costs) should increase only 
marginally and might actually be lower than the sum for the 
separate corridors when corrections are made for duplicate 
track and stations at corridor junctions.

Not all connections among the study corridors or other 
possible corridors were considered.  Thus, the results 
presented here are only indicative of likely impacts in this 
area.  A more comprehensive analysis is needed to estimate the 
impacts of larger networks and to reduce the qualifications 
and uncertainties in these results.

Two networks were analyzed with procedures similar to those 
used for each of the independent corridors (ridership and 
revenues were estimated at the OD level using the demand 
models).  Estimated financial ratios were also developed for 
four other networks that use the hub-and-spoke concept, 
although the analytical methods used were less detailed.  The 
networks used in these analyses are displayed in Figure 3.6.

In the more detailed network analysis, maglev service between 
city pairs in these combined corridors is assumed to be 
similar to that provided in component corridors except for a 
20-minute transfer penalty at the major intercorridor 
junctions

Results in this section were estimated using the 
7-percent discount rate.  Whereas a 4-percent discount rate 
raises the R/C ratios, the patterns and conclusions are 
similar to those reported here.  Appendix A, Table A2 contains 
network R/C ratio information corresponding to Table 3.8, but 
using the 4-percent discount rate.

3-18
 
Click HERE for graphic.

of Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.  Train frequency is 
assumed to be sufficient to serve the extra demand from the 
new city pairs served.

Added intercorridor trips increased total demand by 
10.4-percent on the East Coast network and 13.2 percent on the 
North Central Network.  Revenues increased by a larger amount 
(15.1 percent and 18.2 percent) due to the longer average trip 
lengths of the added intercorridor trips.

An approximate method was used to develop rough estimates of 
the financial impact of joining corridors into networks at 
potential hubs as defined in Figure 3.6.  The approach employs 
relationships developed in analyzing the East Coast and
North Central networks, combined with data on trip potential 
derived from forecasts of air and rail intercity travel.  The 
results of this analysis are presented in Table 3.8.  In all 
cases, intercorridor travel generated as a consequence of 
forming high-speed ground networks at hubs produced a modest 
positive impact on the average financial performance estimated 
for independent corridors.  In particular, the revenue/cost 
ratios for the Chicago and Orlando hubs are higher than any of 
the R/C ratios of their components.

Using a 7 percent discount rate, the additional value of 
intercorridor travel is modest, increasing the average 
revenue/ cost (R/C) ratio by 0.07 (East Coast) and 0.08 (North 
Central).  If all intercorridor

3-19

Click HERE for graphic.

 
Note: Estimates based on 7 percent discount rate.

revenues and costs were attributed to the corridors combined 
with the NEC (an incremental analysis), the R/C ratio for the 
SEC would rise from 0.40 to 0.59 and the R/C ratio for the 
combination of the Pennsylvania and Chicago-Pittsburgh 
corridors would rise from an average of 0.29 to 0.44.  Although 
corridors with lower initial financial performance are 
enhanced by network effects, such corridors reduce the overall 
viability of the extended network.  The R/C levels and size of 
the changes are increased when a 4 percent discount rate is 
used.

While this analysis shows that some enhancement in economic 
performance is possible by forming networks, the cost of an 
extensive network and the marginal performance of some network 
additions, despite the enhancement, would still make the 
implementation of large-scale networks questionable.

3.3.5 Effect of Alignment on Financial Performance

Two hybrid alignments were considered for each study corridor:

 
3-20

. An alignment with ES of existing highway and rail ROW.

. An alignment that, while involving LS of some highway and rail 
  ROW mainly in urban areas, is built on mainly new ROW in rural 
  areas.

While the operational and financial performance estimates of 
the USML system on the two alignments are similar (in part 
because the alignments are hybrids), there are consistent 
differences.  In particular:

. Extensive ROW sharing alignments tend to be inferior to the 
  LS alignments in ridership, cost, and overall financial 
  performance.

Table 3.9 provides estimates of corridor ridership density and 
revenue-cost ratios for the baseline scenarios on both types 
of alignments for both the 7 percent and 4 percent discount 
rates.  These results reflect the lower ridership levels and 
the cost disadvantage for the alignments with ES of existing 
ROW because of longer distances and overall higher costs per 
mile that usually occur.

3.3.6 Financial Potential of Maglev in Other Corridors

Ten of the 26 corridors originally chosen for study were not 
subjected to detailed analysis of trips diverted to maglev. 
Nevertheless, it is possible to approximate the financial 
performance of these 10 in relation to that of the other 16 by 
ranking all 26 according to O/D air traffic density (passenger 
miles per route mile) and seeing where the 10 rank in relation 
to the 16.  This is the case because, as shown in Table 3.10, 
there is rough correlation between a ranking by air traffic 
density and a ranking by either projected maglev traffic density
or revenue/cost ratio.  From this analysis, it is evident that 
the corridors with highest potential are among the 16 studied in
detail.  The other 10 corridors do not appear to be among the 
financially stronger candidates for the implementation of 
maglev, though some of these corridors, or still others, may 
provide more potential as extensions to or connections within a 
network because of intercorridor trip making.

3.4 PUBLIC BENEFITS OF MAGLEV

The economic evaluation of maglev should include not only its 
financial viability but also its other public benefits and 
costs in areas such as congestion, petroleum consumption, 
emission, and safety.  The estimated values of such public 
benefits and costs can, at least conceptually, be added to the 
corridor revenues and used to compute a societal benefit/cost 
(BC) ratio.  There are also macroeconomic and other impacts of 
maglev that are identified but not included in the BC 
accounting; these are discussed in Section 3.5.

3.4.1 Airport Congestion Relief Benefit

Analysis of airport congestion relief indicated that:

. Passengers diverted to maglev from air reduce demand and 
  congestion at airports.

. The congestion reduction benefit is received by remaining air 
  passengers, i.e., airport users.

 3-21

Click HERE for graphic.

. The congestion benefit at New York City area airports, is 
  estimated to be $45 million a year from the NEC maglev.

. Maglev would have a sizable congestion relief benefit when 
  aggregated over many cities, corridors, and years.

 
3-22

Notes: (1) Revenue-Cost ratio data based on life cycle present 
           value estimates using a 7 percent discount rate (see 
           Figure 3.4)
       (2) Air and maglev passenger data are for year 2020.
       (3) Air passenger data are OD only (no transfer 
           passengers included).

3-23

Diversion of air traffic to HSGT modes will potentially reduce 
delays at congested airports.  Although this benefit may be 
reduced by having new flights at popular departure times, 
having more air travelers, or by canceling or postponing 
airport/air traffic control improvements, the direct 
congestion reduction benefit can still be a good first 
approximation of the size of estimated benefit.  However, the 
estimate is highly dependent on the assumptions that are made 
about airport capacity increases during the period of 
analysis.

Table 3.11 presents what is probably a very conservative 
order-of magnitude estimate of the airport congestion relief 
benefit for three of the larger cities (New York, Chicago, and 
Los Angeles) along potential maglev corridors.  The first two 
rows of Table 3.11 give enplanement totals for 1988 and 2020. 
These data are for Chicago O'Hare, the three large New York 
airports (JFK, EWR, and LGA), and the four greater Los Angeles 
airports (LAX, SNA, BUR, and ONT).

The third row shows the percentages of projected 2020 
enplanements diverted to a USML system for various proposed 
corridors involving the cities of New York, Chicago, and Los 
Angeles on LS alignments.  Although the estimated percentages 
would be larger if several corridors were built reaching each 
city and intercorridor traffic were permitted, the combined 
corridor total diversion percentage does not include this 
intercorridor effect.

The fourth and fifth rows present estimates of the airport 
delay and delay reduction in the three cities.  The 1988 delay 
per operation, in minutes, is the average for air carriers 
reporting this information in that year to the FAA.  The delay 
reduction in 2020, in minutes, assumes that: (1) in the 
absence of maglev, changes would take place to keep 2020 delay 
at 1988 levels and (2) a given percentage diversion of 
enplanements will lead to the same reduction in delay per 
operation.

Click HERE for graphic.

3-24

Also, the calculated dollar benefits in the sixth row of Table 
3.11 apply the reduction to the nondiverted air passengers, 
valuing their time at the $39.50 per hour rate recommended by 
the FAA for such analysis.

Finally, the 2020 delay reduction benefits to remaining air 
passengers are compared to corridor net revenues in the 
seventh row of Table 3.11.  These rough estimates indicate that 
societal benefits in the form of reduced airport congestion 
should be considered in the overall evaluation of a maglev 
development program and that improved estimates of these 
benefits would be of value.

Another way of thinking about congestion relief benefits is in 
terms of the cost of public facilities that would not have to 
be built as a result of building a maglev line.  Specifically, 
we can deduce from Table 3.11 that, in the metropolitan areas 
shown, about 11 to 17 percent of projected total enplanements 
in these areas to all destinations in 2020 would be diverted 
by maglev.  This is the equivalent of 22 to 30-percent of the 
projected increase in enplanements between 1988 and 2020. 
Thus, airport authorities intent on holding down future 
increases in delay would not have to build 22 to 30 percent of 
the new capacity otherwise needed.  If this is replicated in 
other airports in the corridors, it is easy to see how it 
could represent several billion dollars of public benefit 
value in each corridor.

3.4.2 Impacts on Petroleum Usage, Emissions, and Safety

The NMI energy, emission, and safety impact analysis 
indicates:

. The petroleum savings from maglev, which uses electricity 
  generated from nonpetroleum fuels, is a result primarily of 
  diverting passengers from the airlines to maglev.

. The lower petroleum consumption for moving these passengers 
  reduces the emission levels of carbon dioxide and most noxious 
  gases.

. Maglev will result in net reductions in injuries and 
  fatalities, primarily because of diversions from auto 
  traffic..

The diversion of intercity trips from air, auto, and rail 
modes to maglev results in net reductions in energy usage, 
petroleum consumption, emissions of most airborne pollutants, 
and lives lost in accidents.  The size and value of these 
impacts depend on the ridership estimates for each corridor. 
Estimates of these effects are summarized in Section 4.3.3 
where they are considered along with an analysis of variations 
among technologies.

3.5 OTHER NATIONAL IMPACTS OF MAGLEV

The decision to pursue the development of maglev as an 
intercity passenger system depends mainly on its potential 
role as a new transportation mode, i.e., its technical and 
economic soundness. Maglev development can also, however, be 
viewed as a part of a broader strategic plan for United States 
economic development, and it is in this context that its 
national impacts are relevant.  Strategic economic goals of job 
creation, technological advancement, and international 
competitiveness would be enhanced by the development and 
building of maglev systems.  The following sections

3-25

describe these potential national impacts of maglev.

3.5.1 Employment Implications

The development and implementation of maglev systems will 
cause jobs to be created in various industries, beginning with 
the engineering community that will design it, followed by the 
construction industry that will build it, and ending with the 
eventual operators that will operate and maintain it.  The 
activities, types and number of jobs, and business 
opportunities will differ in each phase of implementation.

During the design phase, technical firms will propose a 
combination of components and subsystems integrated into a 
total system concept which includes a vehicle and guideway 
associated structure.  Following design, components must be 
manufactured and constructed and tested as subsystems and 
ultimately integrated and evaluated as an operating system. 
The funds required for this engineering development program 
are estimated to be about $800 million and would support about 
15,500 person-years of direct and secondary effort if a new 
system is developed in the United States. Lesser amounts of 
these funds would be spent here if the system is co-developed 
with Japan and very little would be spent here if the German 
system is chosen.

After the development phase is completed, an operational 
corridor might be constructed.  The Northeast Corridor is 
selected to provide an example of the numbers and types of 
jobs to be expected.  Construction of an operational maglev 
system extending from Washington, D.C. to Boston would require 
large amounts of labor.  One hundred seventy-two thousand direct
person-years of effort required were estimated on the basis of 
industry-specific statistical data for the value of outputs 
per employee.  This estimate of direct effort, however, does 
not include the labor required to produce the materials and 
purchased parts passed through in the costs.  An additional 
180,000 person years, estimated on the basis of value added 
per employee, would be required in secondary jobs.  After the 
Northeast Corridor system is operational, employees would be 
required to operate and maintain the system as well as to 
provide services to the passengers.  In summary, a maglev 
technology development program and any consequent 
implementation of maglev systems in revenue service would 
create jobs.  The extent to which these would be net new jobs 
rather than shifts from other economic activities depends on 
whether the economy is operating at full employment and on how 
the development and implementation are financed.  Also, to the 
extent that these services are those that would have been 
provided to passengers traveling by an alternative mode, they 
are a transfer from one mode to another and will have little 
effect on total employment in the economy.  Of possibly equal 
importance in terms of national impact is whether these jobs 
represent skills that improve the United States' ability to 
compete in the international marketplace and whether the 
technology spins off new applications that have similar 
effects.  These are the subjects of the next two sections.

3.5.2 Technological Advancement and Spinoffs

Maglev systems feature new, innovative technological content 
when compared to

3-26

 existing transportation systems.  As noted in Section 2.2, each 
of the United States conceptual system designs has a different 
approach to meeting the levitation, propulsion, guidance, and 
power transfer requirements for a high-speed magnetic 
levitation system.  As the engineering designs in these areas 
are refined, technical advances with spinoff implications to 
other products and industries are likely.

Areas in which maglev technical development will be focused 
include:


. Magnetics-High temperature superconductivity, cryogenics, low 
  temperature refrigerators, and superconducting magnet design 
  and construction.

. Materials-Fiber reinforced plastics for vehicles and 
  structural concretes.

. Electronics-Communication and high power solid state controls.

. Engineering-Vehicle design (aerodynamics and noise 
  mitigation), precision manufacturing, construction and 
  fabrication of concrete structures.

Possible advances and spinoffs in these areas are identified 
in the discussion below of innovations related to key maglev 
system components.

Guideways

To achieve the dynamic behavior and construction tolerances of 
the concrete structures, it will be necessary to develop new 
manufacturing techniques and facilities analogous to those 
developed in

Germany for this purpose.  New methods which could be used 
immediately in conventional civil construction projects for 
installing the system along existing highways with minimal 
disruption will be required.  The use of nonconducting, 
nonmagnetic polymer reinforcing materials in concrete might 
have the potential for extending the life of concrete 
structures.  If successful, these materials will significantly 
reduce the life cycle cost when used in the renovation of 
highways and bridges.  Expansion of the fiber reinforced 
plastics industry would likely result in cost reductions and 
greater utilization of these materials in other applications. 
The guideway might also incorporate devices to assure that it 
is not obstructed by debris, or damaged by accidents or 
earthquakes, the latter being an important consideration in 
the United States, but only a minor consideration in Europe.

Power Equipment

The power equipment used between the transmission line and the 
guideway will differ for each system and must be developed.  In 
one proposed system, the power conditioning is performed at 
the location of each coil in the guideway, requiring thousands 
of high-power solid state power control devices.  In another, 
the tide quality of the vehicle is controlled, in part, by 
dynamically varying the phase of the power to the motor, 
requiring the development of high-power control systems to 
achieve this objective.  Each of these components present 
opportunities for the development of similar systems for 
automated manufacturing and other purposes.

3-27
 
Vehicles

The vehicles will be constructed of aluminum or fiber 
reinforced plastic structures and will contain superconducting 
magnets, cryogenic systems, and high speed, highly reliable 
local, regional, and central communications and control systems.
Maglev has stimulated a reexamination of passenger comfort 
and environment requirements, and means of achieving them, that
will carry over directly to other transportation modes.  Means 
of ensuring minimal environmental impacts from routing, 
magnetic exposure, noise, and air pollution are being 
investigated that will influence our use of petroleum and 
electrical energy and livability of our cities and countryside.
These considerations will have long-lasting effects on our 
lifestyles.

Magnets

Superconducting magnets are used for many purposes, but seldom 
in applications where lives depend on their operation or in 
transportation applications where they are subject to the 
vibrations expected in maglev systems.  The development of 
vibration insensitive magnets might be of use in transportable 
magnetic resonance imaging systems, military magneto-
hydrodynamic systems for ship propulsion and other mobile 
applications.  Magnets that fail in a more controlled manner 
might also be expected, permitting safer operation of the 
system.  Credible designs have already been proposed for 
systems using supercritical, rather than liquid, helium as the 
refrigerant, with a significant increase in power efficiency of
 the cryogenic system.  The United States and other countries 
have devoted major efforts to the development of high-
temperature superconductor operating at temperature above 77 
degree Kelvin,  and one proposed system design might be capable
 of using such conductors as they currently exist.  Such 
magnets in a Magellan system would effectively eliminate the 
concerns for cryogenic refrigeration abroad the vehicle.  A 
dedicated Magellan program could provide the impetus to further
develop these magnets which have numerous projected uses for 
medical applications, shielding of magnetic fields, electric 
motors, oil exploration, magnetic separation of materials, and 
superconducting magnetic energy storage.

Summary

High technology business will be quick to capitalize on 
spin-offs that occur as maglev technology evolves.  Of 
particular economic value could be the early implementation  of
 fiber reinforced polymers in concrete structures, vibration 
insensitive superconducting magnets, and ruggedized cryogenic 
and refrigeration systems for ship propulsion and other mobile 
uses.  Also of value could be higher power solid state devices 
for controlling motors in heavy industry, and linear 
synchronous motors for use in conveyors and manufacturing 
operations requiring precise control.

3.5.3 International Competitiveness

Developing high-speed Magellan technology can contribute to the
international competitiveness of the United States in two ways.
First, the design and development effort will likely lead to 
technical advances and spinoffs as discussed in the previous 
section.  Some of these advances and spinoffs will enhance U.S.
productivity, and others will spawn new industries and


3-28


products that could become future export industries.

Second, while the prospects for maglev implementation in the 
U.S. and other countries are still uncertain, it is in the 
national interest that U.S. systems be prime candidates for 
selection if maglev becomes an important mode of travel.  The 
direct effects on the balance of payments anytime a U.S. 
system is selected is one obvious reason.  It is also important 
to create high quality and high paying job opportunities for 
the well-educated United States work force.  As noted earlier 
in this Chapter, the initial capital costs involved in building
a maglev system would be about $21 billion for the NEC and 
generally between $5 billion and $21 billion for other corridors 
studied.  It is estimated that about 63 percent of these 
expenditures would be for components produced by high technology
industries.  The other major initial expenditure is from the 
relatively wells-killed civil construction industry.  Further, 
the replacement parts industries supporting an operating maglev
system would provide on-going skilled employment opportunities.

3-29
 
    Chapter 4: Comparisons of U.S. Maglev with Existing
         HSGT Systems-Transrapid (TR07) and TGV

4.1 OVERVIEW

The previous chapter examined the economic performance of a 
U.S. Maglev system in a number of intercity travel markets. 
This chapter compares that performance with the economic 
performance of existing HSGT technologies, assuming they were 
implemented instead of a USML system in the same markets.  It 
seeks to answer the question.  "Would a USML be better in U.S. 
applications than either TR07 or TGV-type technology, and 
would it be worth the additional development cost to make the 
new technology available?"

The short answer to these questions is that, at a 7 percent 
discount rate, a U.S.  Maglev system would offer better 
financial performance than TR07 in all of the corridors 
studied, and offer equal or better performance than TGV in all 
corridors but one (Florida) when measured in terms of revenue 
to cost ratio.  If a 4 percent discount rate were assumed, the 
financial ratio would favor U.S. Maglev by wider margins. The 
magnitude of the financial differences among technologies is 
highly dependent on the discount rate assumption because of 
significant differences in projected capital outlays and net 
revenues over time.  Maglev systems are expected to require 
larger initial capital outlays, but are also expected to 
generate much greater revenues net of operating expenses once 
the systems are in full operation.

Finally, in making these comparisons, it must be kept in mind 
that the cost estimates for existing technologies, TGV
and, to a lesser extent TR07, are derived from operating and 
construction experience, while the USML costs are only 
engineering estimates.

4.2 ANALYTICAL APPROACH AND METHODS

The approach used in this chapter parallels that of Chapter 3. 
Section 3.2 describes the process used in projecting travel by 
competing modes for origin/destination pairs, estimating the 
diversion from those modes and the resulting revenue, 
estimating the capital and operating costs and, finally, 
estimating the public benefits.  In this chapter, a nearly 
identical process will be used to make the same estimates with 
regard to TR07 and, separately, TGV systems that could be 
built in each of those corridors.  Once this is done, a number 
of comparisons will be made between various performance 
measures for USML versus the same performance measures for 
existing technologies.  The remainder of this section 
highlights only the differences in methods regarding TR07 and 
TGV analysis versus those used regarding USML.

At this point in the analysis process, projections of 
high-speed ground system costs, ridership, and revenues are 
preliminary, and will need to be revised once a system, suited 
for U.S. operation, is fully designed and specified. Although 
NMI cost estimates were developed in ways that compensated for 
most cost understatement problems common in other 
transportation projects, costs for a U.S. Maglev system (a 
conceptual design)

4-1

should be considered more uncertain than the costs of TGV 
(deployed in Europe) and TR07 (running on a test track).

With regard to the TR07, the identical alignments were 
considered as with USML; i.e., both an alignment with 
extensive sharing (ES) and limited sharing (LS) of existing 
highway and rail right(s)of-way (ROW), primarily in urban 
areas.  However, for TGV, only the LS alignment (identical to 
Maglev except where maximum TGV grade capability would be 
exceeded) was used.  Unlike the analysis of USML, only one 
socioeconomic scenario, the "baseline," was used for TR07 and 
TGV.

The same demand model was used to estimate ridership and 
revenue for TR07 and TGV but the different, generally longer, 
trip times associated with these technologies resulted in 
lower estimates of diverted trips and consequently lower 
revenues than with USML.  While the same general structure was 
used for the cost estimating model, different parameters and 
assumptions were used for TR07 and TGV because of the 
different cost characteristics inherent in their respective 
technologies relative to USML.

4.3 ECONOMIC COMPARISON OF HSGT TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS

In this section, German Maglev (TR07) and TGV/HSR technologies 
are compared to the USML in terms of travel time and financial 
performance for the same 16 corridors studied in Chapter 3. 
The operational performance and cost assumptions used to assess
each technology are described in Section 2.4.

4.3.1 Sources of Economic Differences

Economic differences in demand and cost among the high-speed 
ground technologies are based on variations in their inherent 
technological characteristics (i.e., banking, acceleration, 
and vehicle and consist size/ seating).  These technology 
distinctions are translated into differences in line haul 
travel time and speed profiles along corridor alignments, 
train frequencies, fares, operating costs, and capital costs.

Average total vehicle trip times (line haul, access/egress, 
and terminal time) by distance block between all city pairs 
represented in the 16 corridors are summarized in Figure 4.1. 
Additional estimates of corridor trip times and average speeds 
are provided in Table AS of Appendix A.  Major conclusions are:

. Travel time for the USML technology is lowest at each 
  distance, followed closely by TR07.  Both maglev technologies 
  enjoy a significant speed advantage relative to TGV.'
. Although such details are not displayed in Figure 4.1, the 
  pattern of trip time differences favoring USML is accentuated 
  on the more highly curved alignments using ES of existing ROW.

The fares assumed for high-speed ground technologies are 
calculated as a percent of air fare to approximately maximize 
the net

In order to maximize TGV performance, the 200 mph Texas 
TGV was used for calculations of trip times.

4-2

revenue (revenue minus variable costs) that could be generated 
on each system.  Higher fares produce more revenue up to the 
point where reductions in passenger demand offset the gains in 
per passenger yield.  The more competitive a HSGT mode is with 
air on travel time, the higher the net revenue maximizing fare 
that can be set.  Because both maglev technologies enjoy 
significant speed advantages over TGV, their fare levels are 
set at the highest fraction of competing air fares.  The fares 
used in this analysis for distances up to 400 miles are shown 
in Table 4.1.  Fares are assumed to decline to Ys of these levels
at distances greater than 600 miles.


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4-3

The three HSGT technologies are also distinguished on the 
basis of operating and capital costs.  Emphasis was placed on 
developing detailed cost estimates for the U.S. and TR07 
Maglev systems; a more limited analysis was performed on TGV 
costs based primarily on published data.

In Table 4.2, data are presented for each of the technologies 
on initial capital


Click HERE for graphic.

Notes: (1) Estimates are for baseline scenario using the 
           limited sharing ROW alignment.
       (2) Guideway technology costs include the guideway beam, 
           supporting structures, and all electrical and 
           magnetic components.
       (3) Other costs include: vehicles, stations, other fixed 
           facilities, environmental mitigation costs, civil 
           reconstruction, nontechnology site preparation work, 
           contingencies, and program management.
       (4) A construction financing cost is included in these 
           estimates using the 7 percent real interest rate.

4-4

requirements for guideways and other capital expenditures, 
including vehicles, civil reconstruction, project management 
and contingencies.  These data are calculated at the 7 percent 
discount rate, but would be only slightly smaller if 
calculated using the 4 percent discount rate assumption.  For 
example, the initial capital cost for USML in the NEC is $21.2 
billion at 7 percent, as compared to $20.3 billion at 4 
percent.  (See Table A4 in Appendix A.)

The per mile technology cost comparisons are given in Section 
2.4 for elevated and at-grade construction. Vehicle purchase 
and some fixed capital cost estimates are adjusted to reflect 
differences in the ridership estimates for the three 
technologies.  Energy consumption rates and vehicle operating 
costs also differ between maglev and TGV.

4.3.2 Comparisons of Corridor Financial Performance

The combination of travel times and fares results in a clear 
advantage for USML in attracting passengers.  As can be seen in 
Figure 4.2:

. USML has significantly more ridership relative to the two 
  other HSGT technologies.  When averaged over the 16 corridors, 
  on the LS alignment, passenger-miles per route-mile in 2020 is 
  4.6 percent higher for USML than TR07 and 28.5 percent higher 
  relative to TGV.

Click HERE for graphic.


Additional data on corridor trip levels, passenger miles, 
and passenger diversion rates are provided in Tables A1 and AS 
of Appendix A.

4-5

. On the ES alignment, the advantage of USML over other 
  technologies is even greater.

Tables 4.3 and 4.4 portray, for the three technologies, 
revenue-to-cost ratios and operating recovery ratios for 7 
percent and 4 percent discount rates.  At both discount


Click HERE for graphic.

The operating recovery ratio is defined as the present 
value of revenues divided by the present value of O&M costs.

4-6
 
rates, USML is projected to have substantially higher revenues 
and consequently, operating recovery ratios than the other 
technologies.  However, USML has only a small advantage over 
TGV in terms of overall revenue/cost ratio because projected 
capital outlays for USML are considerably greater.  All
revenue-to-cost ratios are considerably lower at the 7 percent 
discount rate.  Although the present values of initial capital 
costs are similar at different discount rates, the present 
value of the stream of revenues and O&M costs over time vary 
significantly with the discount rate assumption.

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4-7

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Notes: (1) Percent difference computed from sum of data over 
           all 16 corridors. 
       (2) Baseline scenario, 7 percent discount rate.

Tables 4.5 and 4.6 show that the differences between USML and 
TR07 are greatest on the ES alignment, where constraints limit 
elimination of curves along the route, accentuating travel 
time differences between the technologies.  In addition, both 
U.S. and German Maglev technologies compare favorably to the 
TGV on the LS alignment.  These results hold for both the 7 
percent (shown) and 4 percent discount rate assumptions.

In Table 4.7, estimates are presented of operating costs, 
revenues, and operating surplus for a typical year, 2020. 
These financial measures are identical at the 7 percent and 4 
percent discount rates.  An operating surplus is anticipated 
for all

4-8

Click HERE for graphic.


corridors and each technology except for Seattle-Portland.  The 
operating surplus is greatest for the USML and TR07 
technologies.  Although TGV is estimated to have lower O&M 
costs, its 2020 projected revenues are considerably smaller 
than USML and, to a lesser extent, TR07.

In Section 3.3.4, the effects of intercorridor travel on 
Maglev (USML on the LS alignment) financial performance were
estimated. Table 4.8 presents the results of this analysis for 
the TGV technology in the East Coast HSGT network at the 7 
percent discount rate (similar results occur at the 4 percent 
discount rate).  Major findings indicate that:

. Relative to air, average intercorridor HSGT trips are 
  expected to have longer

4-9

Click HERE for graphic.

 
Notes: (1) East Coast corridor is combination of Northeast 
           (Boston to Washington) and Southeast (Washington to 
            Atlanta).
       (2) Baseline scenario, 7 percent discount rate, and 
           limited sharing alignment for both technologies.

  travel times than within corridor trips, resulting in lower 
  average diversion rates.

. Intercorridor diversions for TR07 and TGV (on either 
  alignment) will be smaller than for USML.

. Intercorridor travel will improve the financial performance of 
  TR07 and TGV to a lesser degree than for USML.  The network 
  effect on the TGV revenue/cost ratio is only about 60 percent 
  of the network effect attributable to combining corridors for 
  the USML case.

The net financial assistance required to build HSGT systems in 
each of the corridors is estimated in Figures 4.3 (total) and 
4.4 (amortized per passenger-mile).  Estimates are calculated 
in terms of present value at 7 percent for the LS alignment; 
projected net financial assistance at lower discount rates 
would be substantially lower because of the higher present 
value of net revenues available to offset capital cost.  For ES 
alignments financial assistance would be greater because of 
lower present value of net revenues.  Additional data on
corridor ticket prices, passenger costs, and required 
subsidies (financial assistance) using both the 4 percent and 
7 percent discount rates are provided in Tables A6, A7, As, 
and A9 of Appendix A.

Results show that:

. At the 7 percent discount rate, total financial assistance is 
  the least for TGV in all corridors except for the NEC where 
  both systems show small surpluses.  Financial assistance 
  requirements are reduced at the 4 percent discount rate; 
  however, the pattern favoring TGV is maintained in all 
  corridors, but the NEC, California, and LA-Phoenix where USML 
  has the lowest estimated financial assistance requirements. 
  In the NEC the surplus for maglev is higher than TGV.

. USML will likely have lower public funding requirements than 
  TR07 because its construction costs are lower and because the 
  U.S. technology is expected to generate more ridership and 
  revenue.

4-10

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4-11

4.3.3 Public Benefit Comparisons

In addition to revenue and cost issues associated with a major 
public investment in transportation infrastructure, there are 
significant benefits and costs in externalities that are not 
always captured in the marketplace.  Chief among these 
externalities are energy use, dependence on petroleum imports, 
emissions, and public safety.

The congestion benefits for the USML system, as presented in 
Section 3.3, are based on the passenger diversion from the air 
mode.  With respect to the other HSGT technologies:

. The lower diversions for the TR07 and TGV systems, relative to 
  the USML, result in lower congestion benefits that are 
  approximately proportional to the reduced ridership.
  
. Congestion benefits for TGV are the lowest, estimated to be 
  about 70 percent of the benefit of USML.

. Higher diversion rates for both maglev systems result in 
  larger petroleum use benefits relative to the TGV technology 
  option.

. Some emission savings for TGV are the largest due to its 
  significantly lower energy intensity per seat-mile and 
  despite its much lower estimated ridership.

Petroleum Savings

Significant fuel efficiency improvements in light-duty 
vehicles have curtailed the growth in energy use by 
automobiles and light trucks.  The energy use by commercial 
modes is expected to exceed that of personal vehicles by the 
year 2005.  Even with expected efficiency improvements, air 
transport is expected to continue to account for about 30 
percent of the commercial transportation energy use.  Diversion
of air traffic to maglev or high-speed rail (HSR) not only has 
potential to improve overall energy efficiency of intercity 
travel, but can change the fuel mix from jet fuel (petroleum) 
to electricity (almost entirely non-petroleum).

Figure 4.5 presents information on the energy intensity, 
measured in BTU per seat-mile, of intercity transportation 
modes in 2020 for typical non-stop trips of varying lengths. 
Energy intensities are measured at the point of production of 
component fuels and include factors for losses due to 
refining, domestic transport, electric generation, and 
conversion.

Although there are technical differences between the USML 
concept and the current TR07 prototype design, especially with 
regard to improved aerodynamics and efficiencies in the linear 
synchronous motor (LSM) and power conditioning equipment, no 
overall energy efficiency differential can reliably be 
attributed to these future systems in revenue service. 
Therefore, for purposes of calculating energy and emissions 
impacts, all maglev designs are considered equivalent.  Maglev 
is more efficient than the Boeing 737 (Series 300), which is 
among the most energy-efficient, short-haul aircraft in 
current service.  The TGV train, despite its reliance on the 
less efficient steel-wheel-on-rail design, is estimated to be 
significantly more energy-efficient per seat-mile than maglev 
due primarily to its slower top speed (200 versus 300 mph) and 
its longer train length (ten-car consist versus two-car 
consist).

4-12

Click HERE for graphic.


Analyses of maglev and TGV operations in 16 corridors were 
carried out in order to	obtain estimates of petroleum and net
emissions savings resulting from the diversion of passengers
from conventional to high-speed ground technologies.  Energy use
and emissions generation are impacted by corridor 
characteristics and differences due to vehicle and system 
design.  These are reflected in differences in passenger miles 
of travel and energy intensity for each corridor and technology
alternative.   Total petroleum savings, over 16 corridors
for the year 2020, are 21 million barrels for maglev and 15 
million barrels for the	TGV.  The lower number for TGV is a
consequence of fewer passengers being diverted from the air 
mode by this technology.  The energy calculations assume the 
average fleet aircraft efficiency in 2020 for domestic 
short-haul service will be equivalent to the current energy 
efficiency of the Boeing 737; automobiles will become more 
fuel efficient than current vehicles (average 36.7 mpg); and 
conventional rail service will improve by introducing higher 
efficiency technology and increasing vehicle utilization from 
current levels.

The alignments that use LS of existing ROW have higher 
petroleum savings than those using ES of existing ROW, and the 
maglev technology has higher savings than

Only 14 of the 16 study corridors were considered for the 
analysis in this section because the other 2 corridors, 
Chicago-Detroit and Dallas-Houston, are included as parts of 
the first 14.

4-13

the TGV.  In corridors where most of the ridershipis diverted 
from aircraft, maglev's potential petroleum savings tend to be 
the greatest.  In corridors where HSGT routes are circuitous 
relative to air routes, energy savings are minimized.  Overall, 
the total petroleum saved for these 16 corridors represents 
the equivalent of several days imported petroleum.

Reductions in Pollutant Emissions

In 1991, there were 74 million people in the United States 
residing in counties that were not in compliance with national 
ambient air quality standards.  Ozone and carbon monoxide 
levels have the highest degrees of non-attainment, while 
sulfur dioxide has the lowest.

By substituting maglev vehicles for aircraft, diesel electric 
locomotive-drawn trains, and highway vehicles, emissions from 
these mobile sources are replaced by emissions from electric 
generating plants.  Since the mix of primary energy sources 
varies widely across the United States only the national 
picture is considered.  Using DOE's reference case, the 
nationwide primary energy sources for electricity
generation in the year 2010 are projected to be: 52.3 percent 
coal, 17.5 percent natural gas, 16.5 percent nuclear, 5.2 
percent oil, and 8.6 percent other (generally considered to be 
renewable sources such as hydra, wind, solar, etc.).

Table 4.9 shows the net average percent reduction in emissions 
in 16 corridors from intercity passenger travel of greater 
than 85 miles.  All pollutants, except sulphur oxides, show 
sizable reductions due to the introduction of high-speed 
ground transportation.  Despite its much lower estimated 
ridership, some emissions savings for TGV are the greatest due 
to its significantly lower energy intensity per seat-mile.

The dollar-equivalent benefit of reducing emissions in a 
particular region depends on the level of severity of 
non-attainment of that region and the avoided cost of 
controlling those emissions.  The costs of reducing HC, NO, 
and CO are based on estimates of the cost of needed emission 
control equipment, while the cost of reducing SO is based on 
the value of pollution credits on the Chicago Commodity 
Market.

Click HERE for graphic.

Increasing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Environmental 
Decisions: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Efficient Fees - 
A Critical Review," L. Lave and H. Gruenspecht, May, 1991.

 "Electricity" Electricity Committee Report, California 
Energy Commission, November, 1992. (Contact Joseph Diamond).

4-14

Table 4.10 shows the average annual dollar benefit of reducing 
emissions due to the introduction of maglev on the LS 
alignment.  There is a net positive benefit for all pollutants 
except SO; it increases due to the large percentage of coal 
projected to be used to generate electricity.

Safety Benefits

Given the well-recognized importance of maintaining high 
levels of safety and reliability on any new high-speed ground 
system, it is appropriate to assume that it could be operated 
with a safety record equally as good as the best existing 
intercity modes, i.e., scheduled air and rail.  In fact, a 
significant benefit of maglev compared with conventional rail 
is that all guideway will be grade separated, eliminating 
grade-crossing accidents which account for about half of the 
fatalities involving intercity U.S. passenger rail.

Potential deleterious effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF), 
though considered minor for maglev, will be evaluated more 
extensively in further technical studies.

Based on data from the 1992 National Transportation 
Statistics, the rate of fatalities involving passenger cars 
and taxis has risen slowly in recent years, reaching 1.11 per 
10 passenger miles traveled (PMT) in 1990.  For accidents 
involving intercity passenger trains, the average fatality 
rate including grade crossing accidents since 1985 is about 
0.54 per 10 PMT.  For scheduled commercial flights, the 
fatality rate averaged over the period 1985 to 1990, was about 
0.08 per 10 PMT.  The high-speed ground fatality rate is 
assumed to be the same as for air travel.

To the extent that passengers are diverted from other modes to 
maglev, their chances of being involved in a fatal accident 
are reduced.  For the 16 corridors studied, the estimated lives 
saved on each mode due to diversions from auto, air, and rail 
to maglev are given in Table 4.11.  The figures under the USML 
column are estimates of fatalities on the USML system if 
implemented in 16 corridors.

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4-15
 
            Chapter 5: Options For Acquiring Maglev Technology

5.1 INTRODUCTION

Previous chapters have shown that a potential exists in the 
United States for using HSGT in high density corridors as an 
alternative to existing intercity transportation modes (air, 
auto, conventional train) and that maglev systems offer 
advantages over high-speed rail in certain of these corridors. 
The issue then arises as to how best to introduce maglev 
technology into the U.S. transportation system.  Three basic 
options exist, each dictating different roles and 
responsibilities for both the Federal Government and the 
private sector and also different technological and economic 
impacts.  These options are identified and described below.

5.2 DESCRIPTION OF OPTIONS

The three basic options are:

. Reliance on existing foreign technology.

. Improvement upon existing technology through joint venture 
  with a foreign maglev system developer.

. Development of a USML system.

5.2.1 Reliance on Existing Foreign Technology

This is the status quo option and represents a typical supply 
versus demand environment wherein local and regional 
transportation demands are being addressed by existing private 
sector supply.  In the case of maglev systems, existing supply
today is very limited to the extent that only the German TR07 
system is of sufficient technical maturity to be considered 
for deployment in the United States at this time.  For the past 
several years, interest in HSGT systems has been at a high 
level, particularly in maglev systems, which have been 
proposed in the states of California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, 
and Pennsylvania.  In all of these cases, the interest in HSGT 
systems originated in the local area without any market 
stimulus or role from the Federal Government.

An example of this option, where the Federal Government does 
play a role, is the planned maglev system in Orlando, Florida 
that would operate between the airport and a point near Disney 
World.  Maglev Transit, Inc., a private sector group, is the 
franchisee for the project which is designed to address a 
local need of transporting a high flow of tourists between two 
points.  The proposed project uses existing technology, i.e., 
the German Transrapid system, which was developed completely 
with German funding.  The Intermodal Surface Transportation 
Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 awarded the project $97.5 
million which is to be used by the franchisee for ROW 
acquisition and site-specific guideway design and 
construction.  Aside from this funding, the only Federal 
involvement in this deployment is the significant role of 
safety assurance, i.e., developing safety standards for the 
system and assuring that the design and operation of the 
system meets these standards.  The Federal Government also has 
an oversight role in the environmental impact assessment now 
in preparation.

5-1
 
5.2.2 Improvement on Existing Technology Through Joint
      Venture with Foreign Maglev System Developer

For the purpose of this study, joint ventures can be 
characterized as cooperative efforts between foreign and 
American firms for the introduction of maglev systems into the 
United States.  Joint ventures could take the form of 
government-to-government ventures or industry-to-industry or 
some combination thereof.

In contrast to the "existing technology option," the joint 
venture option is characterized by a general objective to 
develop an improvement in the technology, whether it be 
performance-, cost-, or safety-based, so that the resultant 
system meets U.S. requirements through a shared development 
program.  Since Germany and Japan are the only countries with 
running prototype systems, the joint venture process would use 
either the Japanese or German maglev systems as a baseline and 
then improve on it with U.S. industry participation.

In theory, joint ventures such as this should prove beneficial 
to both parties.  For example, the United States could provide 
its expertise, primarily at the component and subsystem level 
and also its first-hand knowledge about the U.S. 
transportation market and environment.  Also, the U.S. industry 
would naturally obtain engineering experience and technical 
knowledge to build a better system.  Foreign industry, in turn, 
would bring to the venture their system-level expertise in 
maglev technology and gain an easier entry into the American 
market.  Thus, both partners would benefit from the joint
venture.

There are, however, two serious practical issues that must be 
resolved before a joint venture could work; simply, who does 
the work and who pays for it.  For example, developing 
improvements to the German Transrapid (TR07) system to meet 
U.S. specifications (i.e., better acceleration/ deceleration 
and vehicle tilt capability) would require significant effort 
and funding.  Most likely, to limit redevelopment time and 
costs, the developer would prefer to perform the necessary 
redesign and testing with experienced staff in Germany.  (It is 
highly unlikely in the short run that the joint venture 
partners would fund and build facilities in the United States 
that duplicate those in Emsland, Germany.)  The German side may 
question the need for further development since its key focus 
has been to penetrate the U.S. market with existing 
technology.  Private investors on both sides would probably 
balk at putting money into a development program because of 
the length of time before realizing a return on their 
investment.

The degree to which the German Government would fund further 
TR07 development on behalf of an American joint venture 
partner is debatable.  The advisability of the U.S. Government 
providing funds for the further development of a German or 
Japanese or any other foreign system, which could compete with 
American firms interested in pursuing maglev development, 
would depend on the amount of the development that took place 
in the United States.

These issues raise concern on the practicality of a joint 
venture under such a

5-2

scenario.  Considering the relative immaturity of the current 
American market and the long lead time necessary to design and 
construct a system, private industry is unlikely to have the 
incentive to develop the technology on its own.  Intergovern-
mental cooperation will be necessary to help coordinate and 
possibly fund the private sector whose internal priorities 
would most likely supersede any national commitment.

At the same time, in view of the potential benefits of the 
experience gained by potential joint venture foreign partners, 
there would appear to be very little to lose in allowing joint 
venture participants in a design competition, provided that a 
substantial share of the development is guaranteed to take 
place in the United States.

5.2.3 Development of a USML System

5.2.3.1 Background

Historically, the concept of maglev as a high-speed 
transportation system has had strong support in the United 
States and the recent responses of the private sector and 
academia during the NMI program demonstrate both the interest 
and capability to initiate a U.S.-designed system.  It has been 
demonstrated in previous sections of the report that a 
U.S.-designed system would better serve the characteristics of 
the U.S. market including such factors as:

. Greater distances between major cities.

. Widely variable climatic, topographical, seismic, and 
  geological conditions.

. Operational demands for airline-quality service.

. Consumers demanding higher levels of intercity service.

These characteristics, when translated into technical 
requirements, could result in a U.S. concept that offers 
distinct improvements over foreign technology.

5.2.3.2 USML Development Program

The typical approach to developing a new, advanced technology 
transportation system relies on a multiphased program to 
reduce technical risk and cost exposure.  Any new technology 
has risks associated with it.  The development program should 
be designed to systematically resolve those issues by first 
assessing the technology state-of-the-art, evaluating 
candidate system concept definitions (SCD) and determining 
potential applications.  This has already been accomplished 
during the NMI study.  Twenty-seven technology assessment 
contracts have been completed along with four SCD studies.  
The market and economic potential of maglev systems for 
application in the United States has also been addressed. 
These studies have shown that a USML system is technically 
feasible and there are significant areas for technical 
improvements compared to competing systems.  The conclusion is 
that the U.S. industry is ready to proceed with the initial 
phase of a maglev system prototype development program.

This type of development program would be conducted in three 
phases and would provide sufficient competition to ensure the 
best designs are generated and the best design teams are 
selected.  The program duration would be selected to maximize 
the development of innovative ideas while keeping the 
technical and cost risks at a reasonable level.  At the same 
time,

5-3
 
periodic program reviews would be built into the program, 
allowing for reevaluations of the benefits and costs of the 
program based on the latest technical and economic 
information.  As already noted, participation of foreign firms 
in collaboration with U.S. partners should not be discouraged, 
provided that a substantial share of the development is 
guaranteed to take place in the United States.  This 
development option would permit the maglev system to meet the 
U.S.-unique transportation and service requirements, thus 
maximizing the major factor in indicating acceptance by the 
traveling public.  An aggressive schedule to achieve these 
goals would have the prototype under operational test in about 
8 years at a technology demonstration test site.

5.3 EVALUATION/RATING OF THE THREE MAGLEV OPTIONS

In order to provide a consistent evaluation of the three 
options on how to proceed with maglev, the following criteria 
were established:

. Development Cost: The cost of developing the technology.

. System Performance: The ability to provide competitive trip 
  times in a variety of ROW conditions and with flexible service 
  patterns.

. Economic Performance: The ability to cover costs from revenues 
  and generate public benefits.

. U.S. Industry Competitiveness: The contribution to U.S. 
  industry's expertise in high technology enterprises.

. U.S. Jobs: The creation of skilled jobs within the United 
  States.

Each option is provided a qualitative rating for each 
criterion, ranging from an H rating (high) which says the 
option satisfies the criterion, an L rating (low) which says 
the option poorly satisfies the criterion, and an M rating 
(medium) for somewhere in between.

. Development Cost: While reliance on existing foreign 
  technology would not totally eliminate the cost of development 
  (some cost is necessary to adapt a foreign system to the U.S. 
  environment), Option 1 is certainly the best in this regard 
  and would be given an H rating.  A USML development program 
  could cost around $800 million and is given an L rating. 
  Option 2, the joint venture, is somewhere in between with an 
  M rating.

. System Performance: The capability to follow existing ROW and 
  difficult topography without severe time penalties, to serve 
  off-line stations, and to provide the shortest trip times 
  while maintaining passenger comfort, points to the USML 
  getting an H rating since it can be optimized for these 
  characteristics.  A joint venture would get an M rating, the 
  exact rating level depending on the amount of development. 
  Option 1 gets an L rating.

. Economic Performance: As discussed in the previous section, a 
  U.S. system out performs existing maglev technology, 
  particularly in the most important markets.  On this basis it

5-4

  receives an H while existing technology gets an L and the 
  joint venture an M.

. U.S. Industry Developing U.S. industry high technology 
  engineering expertise is accomplished best by having U.S. 
  industry design and build their own system, giving an H rating 
  for Option 3. Neither buying foreign technology nor a joint 
  venture will achieve a meaningful capability in U.S. industry 
  in an acceptable time period, although a joint venture would 
  be marginally better than buying foreign technology, thus a 
  rating of L for buying foreign and M for a joint venture.

. U.S. Jobs: Implementing a maglev system in the United States 
  would mean essentially the same infrastructure construction 
  jobs for each option, assuming the system is built in the same 
  corridors under each option.  That is, since the construction 
  has to be done in the United States, a reasonable assumption 
  is that the construction work would be done by U.S. companies. 
  These jobs are mostly in the "blue collar" category.  Since 
  the USML provides superior economic performance, it could 
  result in a more extensive system being built and, hence, more 
  jobs in a less than full employment economy.  The remaining 
  jobs are the high technology, research and development, and 
  design engineering jobs using engineers and technicians.  
  Again, since the USML would have the most U.S. jobs, an H 
  rating, with buying foreign having the least, an L rating, and
  the joint venture with only a limited number of these jobs, 
  an M  rating.

Table 5.1 summarizes the comparison of maglev options.  To 
obtain the performance optimized for the U.S. transportation 
needs and to protect U.S. competitiveness and develop U.S. 
capability in this advanced technology area, the U.S. designed 
maglev has the clear advantage.  The issue of development cost 
must be evaluated in terms of maintaining the U.S. industry as 
a player in the international competition for advanced 
technology and from the standpoint of what the relative costs 
and benefits are among the options.  The higher profit and 
lower funding requirement on the NEC corridor of USML relative 
to TR07 add up to more than enough to offset the development 
cost.  The USML has lower public funding requirements and a 
higher

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5-5

revenue-to-cost ratio than TR07 in the remaining corridors 
studied.  Table 5.1 shows that the USML development program is 
the proper choice among these options.

5-6

      Chapter 6: Conclusions and Recommendations

6.1 CONCLUSIONS

This study has examined magnetic levitation technology to 
determine its potential in terms of how it would perform and 
compete with existing and future transportation options for 
application in the United States in the early twenty-first 
century, and how the Federal Government should be involved to 
assist in achieving that potential.  The study assessed U.S. 
industry's capability to design and build a competitive maglev 
system and compared the performance of such a system with that 
of existing maglev (German Transrapid TR07) and of high-speed 
rail (such as French TGV) as alternatives, in competition with 
existing air, highway, and conventional rail.

6.1.1 U.S. Industry Can Develop an Advanced Maglev System

Maglev is a technically feasible alternative transportation 
system.  There were no technical impediments identified and the 
safety and environmental issues can be satisfactorily 
addressed within the context of a suitable development 
program.

The Transrapid TR07 Maglev is a preproduction prototype system 
undergoing final acceptance testing in Germany for possible 
application in the Orlando, Florida area.  Based on a 
comprehensive analysis of that system, the conclusion is that 
maglev has been demonstrated as a technically feasible 
transportation system.  This is supported by the status of the 
Japanese MLU002 prototype system under development in Japan. 
Although not as far along as the German TR07, the Japanese
maglev has also demonstrated technical feasibility.  Since 
these systems have not been operated in revenue service, the 
public's reaction to them has not been determined.  Generally, 
individuals who have taken rides on the TR07 have reacted 
favorably.

The NMI study concluded that U.S. industry can develop a 
maglev system that has specific performance improvements over 
the German and Japanese maglev systems.  This evaluation is 
based on the collective data from the technology assessment 
and system concept definition contracts.  Several design 
improvements could result in significant performance and 
economic benefits compared to the other high-speed ground 
alternatives.  For example, tilting mechanisms and high 
powered, efficient propulsion systems will allow USML vehicles 
to follow existing right(s)-of-way (ROW) at speeds 
substantially higher than the German and Japanese maglev 
systems.  New composite materials and innovative vehicle and 
component designs can be used to reduce the weight of maglev 
vehicles and improve energy consumption.  Although none of 
these improvements are considered to "leap frog" the existing 
maglev designs, taken together, they represent a significant 
opportunity for U.S. industry to participate in the maglev 
competition.  These improvements were translated into 
performance terms to evaluate a U.S. design in the market and 
economic studies.  Cost estimates were also developed for the 
U.S. design maglev system and used in the economic studies.  It 
should be pointed out that the estimated costs for TGV are 
supported by significant operational

6-1

experience in France and for TR07, significant test experience 
in Germany.  For USML, the cost estimates were derived from 
analytical studies by 4 system contractor teams and are 
considered reasonable, yet, until a U.S. maglev system is 
built and operated in the United States, there is uncertainty 
regarding these estimates.

In addition to the issue of opportunities for a U.S. design, 
there is the related issue of how to acquire the improved 
technology- that is, buy a foreign system or design and build 
one in the United States.  One approach is a U.S. and foreign 
industry partnership to implement a foreign maglev design in 
the United States.  The maglev system design in this case is 
assumed to require modification to optimize it for U.S. 
application.  The cost for this development work could be 
shared with the U.S. and foreign industry partners, but, from 
a practical standpoint, the foreign industry will not likely 
spend additional development funds unless there is an assured 
market with a reasonable return time period.  Modifications to 
an existing design are best made by the personnel that did the 
original design; hence, there will be little opportunity for 
U.S. industry to benefit in the high technology job areas.

Although joint ventures are a possibility, they work much 
better when both sides have some equivalent experience or 
capability to bring to the table.  For example, with the German 
Transrapid design being so far along, the primary expertise 
the United States brings to the table is knowledge of local 
U.S. transportation construction issues.  The high technology 
benefit to the U.S. industry will be limited, with a 
relatively long time to realize any significant benefit.


6.1.2 A USML System Has the Potential for Revenues to Exceed 
      Life Cycle Costs in One Corridor, and to Cover Operating 
      Costs and a Substantial Portion of Capital Costs in 
      Others

If a USML system with the characteristics shown in this report 
were installed in the 10 top U.S. corridor markets, its 
revenues would cover operating costs, with substantial 
contribution to capital costs in all corridors.  In the 
Northeast Corridor, its revenues would cover total life cycle 
costs.  In the other corridors significant public investment 
would be required.  These projected results reflect the ability 
of the technology to offer the best door-to-door travel time 
for distances up to 300 miles and very competitive trip times 
even up to 600 miles.  They also, however, reflect the high 
cost of building such systems, $27 million to $46 million per 
mile, including site preparation and other costs that depend 
on terrain, degree of urbanization, and other factors.

The detailed economic results depend on the discount rate used 
in the calculations.  A 7 percent discount rate with constant 
dollar prices was used as the baseline rate for this report. 
When translated into market terms (where inflation is taken 
into account), it would be about 10 to 11 percent.  This is the 
rate required to be used by the Office of Management and 
Budget for making economic decisions regarding all Federal 
Government sponsored or assisted projects.  It is intended to 
reflect the average return to capital investments in all 
sectors of the economy and, thus, the social opportunity cost 
of using resources for maglev investments.  With a 7 percent 
rate USML revenues would be slightly higher than life cycle 
costs in the Northeast

6-2

Corridor, but would cover only about 30 to 50 percent of life 
cycle costs in the other nine corridors.  Under more favorable 
assumptions about future travel growth, congestion, and cost 
of competing modes, two of the corridors would cover life 
cycle costs and the others would cover about 50 to 80 percent.

A 4 percent discount rate was also used for the same 
calculations as a sensitivity analysis.  When translated into 
market terms, this is representative of the type of financing 
that could be available to sponsors of high-speed ground 
transportation projects under the Administration's 
recommendation to exempt HSR bond interest from income taxes 
without annual limits.  In this case, in the Northeast 
Corridor, a U.S. Maglev system would produce a surplus of 
revenues about 47 percent above life cycle costs.  In the other 
nine corridors, revenues would cover about 50 to 80 percent of 
the life cycle costs. Under the more favorable assumptions, 
six corridors would cover total costs, with the other three 
covering about 75 percent.

Generally, revenue-to-cost ratios would be higher for USML 
versus both TR07 and TGV at both discount rates; however, 
outside the Northeast Corridor, where revenues are less than 
life cycle costs, USML would require higher public investment 
than TGV, though lower than for TR07.  In the Northeast 
Corridor, the revenue-to-cost ratio for USML would be about 
the same as for TGV at the 7 percent discount rate, but higher 
than for TR07, while at the 4 percent rate it would be higher 
than for both TGV and TR07.  The advantages for USML are more 
pronounced when it is compared to other systems using existing 
ROW, because of the superior ability of USML to operate on 
curves at high speed.

USML produces public benefits of reduced environmental 
pollution, petroleum consumption, and congestion at airports 
because of its ridership diversion from highways and air 
systems.  Generally, these public benefits are also larger for 
the USML than for TR07 or TGV because of its comparative 
attractiveness as an alternative to air and auto travel.

This analysis supports the conclusion that USML can be 
considered as a potentially effective intercity passenger 
transportation alternative for the twenty-first century in 
high-density corridors.

6.1.3 A USML System Would Provide an Opportunity to Develop new 
        Technologies and Industries with Possible Benefits for 
        U.S. Businesses and the Work Force

U.S. industry competitiveness benefits are significant with a 
USML development program.  The generation of high technology 
jobs would be greater for designing and implementing a U.S. 
system as opposed to buying a foreign system.  However, the 
U.S. system development costs would be considerably more than 
the costs associated with bringing in the foreign system; yet, 
if comparable performance were required of the foreign maglev 
system to meet the level of the U.S. design, significant 
developmental costs would also be required for the foreign 
system.  With the development of a U.S. maglev system, domestic 
industry would also gain through high technology businesses 
capitalizing on spin-offs that will occur as maglev technology 
evolves.  Examples that offer particular economic

6-3

value could be the early implementation of fiber reinforced 
polymers in concrete structures, vibration insensitive 
superconducting magnets, and ruggedized cryogenic systems for 
ship propulsion and other uses.

6.1.4 A U.S. Maglev is not Likely to be Developed Without 
      Significant Federal Government Investment

The U.S. industry is not likely to fund a significant amount 
of the development of a maglev prototype.  Maglev has both 
technical and financial risks associated with it.  The fact 
that the ultimate payback to the private investors is very 
long term and that there are risks makes it unlikely that the 
private sector will fund the development costs.  The major 
development costs will be associated with the vehicle/guideway 
interaction and propulsion/levitation/guidance and control 
issues.  These are not associated with the area where the most 
implementation costs reside, namely guideway construction.  The 
industry partners involved in the most intricate development 
activity will not be the ones with the largest potential 
return.  The likelihood of industry supporting significant cost 
sharing is very low, particularly as the cost exposure 
escalates in the later phases of a development program.

In conclusion, development is unlikely to move forward at all 
unless the U.S. Government funds the major portion of the 
development costs.  If maglev were implemented, the ultimate 
sponsors, i.e., the state and local governments, would be 
expected to share in the construction costs because they would 
be the ones to ultimately benefit and the pay-back period would
be much reduced relative to the development time frame.

6.2 RECOMMENDATIONS

The NMI study team recommends that the Federal Government 
should initiate Phase I (Conceptual Design) of a USML 
Prototype Development Program.  The Federal Government should 
fund the majority of the development since industry will not 
fund a significant amount of it.  The recommended program 
differs in its implementation from that defined in the ISTEA 
legislation.  Because of the mixed results of some of the 
economic analysis and uncertainties about the cost and 
performance of a U.S. maglev system compared to other 
high-speed ground transportation alternatives, several program 
reviews should be built into the program allowing for 
reevaluations of the benefits and costs of the program based 
on the latest technical and economic information.  The first 
such review should be at the end of 1994, based in part on 
information available from the study of the commercial 
feasibility of high-speed ground transportation mandated under 
ISTEA.

The entire program would be a three phased development plan 
leading to a technical demonstration at a test site.  A program 
option for a revenue service demonstration should be retained 
during the development program, subject to a determination 
that all technical risks are adequately understood and 
mitigated, that the design is mature enough, and that the net 
benefits are great enough to warrant such a step.  The 
requirements of the ISTEA should be modified to reflect this

6-4

approach and incorporate a modified development schedule to 
assure reasonable technical and cost risks.

This recommendation is based on the conclusions from the NMI 
study and from recognition of the future need to address 
expected and unexpected issues of airport and highway 
congestion, petroleum dependence, and environmental 
(pollution) restrictions.  To respond to those issues, action 
is required now to have a transportation option available in 
the next 15 to 20 years.  The United States must also maintain 
its capability to compete in the advanced technology market.  A 
USML system is a step toward achieving an improved position in 
the ground transportation field.

6.3 RECOMMENDED PROGRAM

The recommended program as illustrated in Figure 6.1 would 
require a transition period from the NMI program and would be 
executed in three phases:

Phase 1-Concept Exploration/ System Concept Design

Phase 2-Demonstration/Validation/ System Detailed Design

Phase 3-Full Scale Fabrication/ Construction and Test

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6-5


Concept Exploration will feature full and open competition 
with multiple entrants, a down selection to two system 
concepts in Demonstration and Validation, and a final down 
selection to a single concept for Full-Scale Development.  
Key decision points at the end of 1994 and at the end of each 
phase will allow the Government to examine the need to 
continue the program prior to committing additional funds.

Concurrent with the development work performed by contractor 
teams, site selection, and environmental assessments for a 
test track located at a Government facility and possibly at a 
demonstration track located in a revenue corridor will be 
scheduled to preserve the option to complete full-scale 
development at the demonstration site if remaining risks are 
sufficiently low.

Compared to ISTEA the principal changes called for in the 
recommended program are:

. An additional 24 months of development time to reduce 
  technical risk by allowing extended testing, particularly 
  for system features which have not yet been demonstrated in 
  any maglev system, such as tilt.

. Placement of the test track at a Government facility to 
  allow less restrictive and more complete testing, including 
  testing outside the typical design parameters of the system.

. Clarifying the ability of the competitors in the program to 
  employ elements of foreign technology as long as a substantial 
  share of the development program takes place in the United 
  States.

The changes are based on the conclusion that the tight 
schedule called for by ISTEA would not provide sufficient time 
for development of technological advancements and testing of 
the U.S. designed maglev system in order to ensure that safety, 
reliability, and maintainability standards are achieved.  Of 
specific concern is the inability for testing the maglev 
system under "worst case" scenarios that would be 
inappropriate on a revenue corridor, i.e., high-speed runs, 
endurance testing, emergency egress, and weather effects 
testing.  Because of these needs, it would be desirable to test 
the system at a test track prior to fielding the system at a 
revenue site.

6-6


                         APPENDIX A
                         ADDITIONAL
                        INFORMATION


Appendix A: Additional Information

Guideway Cost Estimates

The Government Maglev System Assessment (GMSA) team developed 
guideway cost estimates for the TR07 and each of the four SCD 
concepts.  This was necessary because the cost estimating 
approach varied widely from one SCD contractor to another; 
variances resulted from different guideway heights, different 
unit prices for similar commodities, non-uniform allocation of 
components into subsystems, missing items, and differences in 
the application of contingencies, overhead, and profit 
factors.

The GMSA team, therefore, reworked the contractors' cost 
estimates in order to compare the different technologies on an 
equivalent basis.  First, a standard method was applied to 
allocate components into subsystems, then the unit costs were 
developed for each subsystem, and finally the estimates were 
compared, based upon a common set of parameters such as 
guideway height.  In the case of the TRO7,  the GMSA team's 
estimate was derived from the California-Nevada proposal by 
Transrapid International/Bechtel.

The cost of the USML was developed by examining the subsystem 
costs for each SCD concept, deleting the costs that were 
substantially too high or too low (based on engineering 
judgment), and averaging the remaining costs.  This is 
justified by the fact that each contractor optimized the 
design of different subsystems, and that some high unit costs 
resulted from innovations that more conventional approaches 
with lower cost solutions could avoid.  For example, one 
contractor proposed the use of a LCLSM, which the Government 
team priced at a very high unit cost, while another concept 
required a very large amount of aluminum in the guideway 
structure.  Both of these extremes were deleted from the 
average costs of subsystems for USML.

A-1


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                         APPENDIX B

                           LIST OF 
                     NMI PARTICIPANTS
 

Appendix B: List of NMI Participants

Government Agencies

Argonne National Labs, Argonne, IL
Brookhaven National Labs, Upton, NY
National Academy of Science, Transportation Research Board, 
   Washington, D.C.
National Maglev Initiative Program Office, Washington, D.C.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Langley, 
   Hampton, VA
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames, Mountain 
   View, CA
New York State Department of Transportation, Albany, NY
State of California, CALTRANS, San Francisco, CA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/CEHND, Huntsville, AL
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/CRREL, Hanover, NH
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/WES, Vicksburg, MS
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Army, Office of the Assistant Secretary (Civil Works), 
   Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation 
   Administration, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway 
   Administration, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad 
   Administration, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special 
  Programs Administration, Washington D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit 
   Administration, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, 
   Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Volpe National 
   Transportation System Center, Cambridge, MA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Industry

American Superconductor Corp., Watertown, MA
Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, MA
Babcock & Wilcox, Lynchburg, Va and Houston, TX
Battelle, Columbus, OH
Bechtel, San Francisco, CA
Beech Aircraft, Wichita, KA
Berger/ABAM Engineers, Federal Way, WA
Boeing, Seattle, WA
Bombardier, Boucherville, Quebec, Canada
Bromwell & Carrier, Lakeland, FL
Charles River Associates, Boston, MA
Charles Stark Draper Labs, Cambridge, MA
Council on Superconductivity for American Competitiveness, 
Washington, D.C.
DeLeuw Cather & Company, New York, NY

B-1


Industry (Cont'd)

EA Mueller, Arlington, VA
EG&G Dynatrend Inc., Transportation Division, Burlington, MA
EG&G Dynatrend Inc., Technologies Integration Group, 
  Arlington, VA
EG&G Washington Analytical Services Center, Inc., Rockville, MD
Electric Research and Management, State College, PA
ENSCO, Inc., Springfield, VA
FAI, Inc., Vienna, VA
Failure Analysis Associates, Menlo Park, CA
Foster-Miller, Waltham, MA
General Atomics, San Diego, CA
General Dynamics, Arlington, VA
General Electric Company, Schenectady, NY
General Motors, Electro-Motors Division, Washington, D.C.
Gibbs & Hill, Inc., New York, NY
Grumman Aerospace Corp., Bethpage, NY
Harris, Miller/Miller Hansen, Inc., Lexington, MA
Honeywell, Minneapolis, MN
Hudson Engineering Corporation, Houston, TX
Hughes Ground Systems Group, Fullerton, CA
Intermagnetics General, Guilderland, NY
Kaman Science, Santa Monica, CA
Lockheed Corp, Calabasas, CA
Louis Berger & Associates, Inc., Waltham, MA
Madison, Madison International, Detroit, MI
Magneplane International, Bedford, MA
Martin Marietta Information Systems Group, Washington, D.C.
Martin Marietta, Denver, CO
Morrison-Knudsen Corp., Washington, D.C.
Parsons Binkerhoff, Quade & Douglas, Inc., Herndon, VA, 
   Atlanta, GA, and Boston, MA
PSM Technologies, Pittsburgh, PA
Process Systems International, Westborough, MA
Raytheon Co./Equipment Division, Marlborough, MA
United Engineers and Constructors, Technical Services, Boston, 
  MA
U.S. Travel Data Center, Washington, DC

Academic Institutions

Aeronautical & Astronautical Research Laboratory, Ohio State 
   University, Cleveland, OH
Canadian Institute of Guided Ground Transportation, Queens 
 University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Mechanical Engineering, 
  Cambridge, MA
MIT Center for Transportation, Cambridge, MA
MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

B-2

Academic Institutions (Cont'd)

MIT Plasma Fusion Center, Cambridge, MA
Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
State University of New York, Albany, NY
University of Washington, Seattle, WA
West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

B-3


BIBLIOGRAPHY


					         Bibliography

Johnson, L. R., D. M. Rote, J. R. Hull, H. T. Coffey, J. G. 
Daley, and R. F. Geise, Maglev Vehicles and Superconducting 
Technology Integration of High Speed Ground Transportation into
the Air Travel System, Center for Transportation Research, 
Energy and Environmental Systems Division, Argonne National 
Laboratory, April 1989

The Maglev Technology Advisory Committee Reporting to the 
United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Benefits of Magnetically Levitated High Speed Transportation 
for the United States, Volume 1  Executive Report, June 1989, 
Grumman Corporation, Bethpage, NY 11714 3580

National Research Council (U.S.) Transportation Research Board,
In Pursuit of Speed: New Options for Intercity Passenger 
Transport, (Special Report 233), 1991

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Preliminary Implementation Plan, 
National Maglev Initiative, A Public Private Program, June 1990


U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, New Ways: 
Tiltrotor Aircraft & Magnetically Levitated Vehicles.  OTA SET
507 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, October
1991)

U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Railroad 
Administration Report to Congress, Assessment of the Potential 
for Magnetic Levitation Transportation Systems in the United 
States, Moving America, New Directions, New Opportunities, June 
1990

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad 
Administration; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department 
of Energy, National Maglev Initiative Annual Report   November 
1991, Moving America, New Directions, New Opportunities

BB-1
 

Glossary


 
BAA  	        Broad Agency Announcement.  A notice from the 
                Government that requests scientific or 
                research proposals from  private firms 
                concerning certain areas of interest to the 
                Government.  The proposals submitted by 
                private firms may lead to   contracts. 

bogie           A railroad car or locomotive undercarriage.

commutate       Reverse the direction of an alternating current 
                each half cycle to yield a unidirectional 
                current. 

consist        The composition (number and specific identity)
               of individual units  of a train.

cryogenics     The science of low temperature phenomena.


cryostat       A device for maintaining constant low 
               temperature.

DOE            Department of Energy.


DOT            Department of Transportation.

EDS            electrodynamic suspension.

EMS            electromagnetic Suspension.

Emsland        Test site of the TR07 in Germany.

ES             Extensive sharing of right of way.

externalities  public benefits.

FHWA           Federal Highway Administration.

fiber          A polymer based alternative to ferrous 
reinforcement  of concrete and reinforced other materials.
plastic

FRA            Federal Railroad Administration.

FRP            Fiber Reinforced Plastic.

FY             Fiscal Year.



G-1
 

GMSA	       Government Maglev System Assessment.

guideway       A riding surface (including support structure) 
               that physically guides vehicles specially 
               designed to travel on it.

H-bridge       A four arm, alternating current bridge, the 
               balance of which varies with electrical 
               frequency.

headway	       The interval between the passing of the front 
               ends of successive vehicles moving in the same 
               direction along the same lane, track, or	other 
               guideway.

HSGT	       High Speed Ground Transportation.

HSR	       High Speed Rail.

HSST	       High Speed Surface Transportation.

ICE	       Intercity Express.

Intermodal     Unified, interconnected forms of transportation.

inventor       An electrical circuit device which reverses an 
               input to an opposite output in terms of some 
               electrical characteristics such as polarity, 
	       voltage, or frequency.

ISTEA	       Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.

IVHS	       Intelligent Vehicle/Highway Systems.

LCLSM	       locally commutated linear synchronous motor.

levitating     To rise or cause to rise into air and float in 
               apparent defiance of gravity.

levitation,    Support technology that keeps a vehicle 
magnetic       separated from its guideway by riding a surface 
               of magnetic force.

life cycle     The useful or total productive time span of an 
               asset or system.

life cycle     The present value total cost for acquisition and
               operation over the cost	useful life of an asset 
               or system.

LIM	       linear induction motor.

G-2
 
linehaul       Transportation service time between points 
time           without consideration of external time factors 
               such as access to the system or entry and exit
	       requirements.

long stator    Propulsion using an electrically powered linear 
               motor winding in the guideway.

LS	       Limited sharing of rights of way.

LSM	       linear synchronous motor.

maglev	       magnetic levitation.

magnetic       Support technology that keeps a vehicle 
levitation     separated from its guideway by riding a surface 
               of magnetic force.

MLU	       A Japanese maglev system employing a U shaped 
               guideway.

MN	       Mainly new right of way.

NMI	       National Maglev Initiative.

NITS	       National Intermodal Transportation System.

O&M	       Operation and maintenance.

OD	       Origin destination.

pantograph     A device for collecting current from an overhead
               conductor, characterized by a hinged vertical 
               arm operating by springs or compressed air and a
               wide, horizontal contact surface that glides
   	       along the wire.

PMT	       Passenger Miles Traveled.

PSE	       The Paris Lyon Route on which the TGV has been 
               in service since	1981 in France.

right of way   A general term denoting land, property, or 
               interest therein, usually   in a strip, acquired
               for or devoted to transportation purposes.

ROW	       Right(s) of way.

RTRI	       Railway Technical Research Institute, the 
               research section of the newly privatized Japan 
               Rail Group.

G-3
 

SCD	       system concept definition.

Shinkansen     Japanese "bullet train".

short stator   Propulsion technology using a linear induction 
               motor winding  onboard the vehicle and a passive 
               guideway.

spline	       Any of a series of projections on a shaft that 
               fit into slots on acorresponding shaft.

stator	       The nonrotating part of the magnetic structure in
               an induction motor.

supercon-      The abrupt and total disappearance of resistance 
ductivity      to direct current which occurs in some materials
               at temperatures near to or somewhat above 
               absolute zero (like 90 K for some high 
               temperature superconductors).

TGV	       Train a Grande Vitesse.

Train a        The French National Railway’s high speed, steel 
Grande         wheel on rail train.
Vitesse

Transrapid     The German high speed maglev system.  This system
               is nearest to (TR07)  commercial readiness. 
 
USACE	       United States Army Corps of Engineers.

USML	       United States Maglev.

WES	       Waterways Experimental Station, U.S. Army Corps 
               of Engineers.

G-4


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