4 posts • joined 22 Oct 2009
After Dr. Harding says that the Germans now claim Maglev is cost competive with HSR he goes on to say,
" While the true cost for maglev is unknown (at least in U.S. market economy terms), we eagerly await a major deployment of the technology."
His email is as below. I know Dr. Harding and I know what he thinks the LA to LV route will cost. I suggest you write him and ask for his estimate of the cost.
John T. Harding was chief scientist for maglev development at the Federal Railroad Administration until his retirement and now serves as a professional on the International Maglev Board. He lives in Palm Springs and can be reached at 760 328 7692 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would also suggest you visit the International Maglev Board Forums and read some of his comments on Maglev energy consumption. He likes Maglev but is not biased. He has issues with us as well.
That's what makes it fun.
One other point, you say the intelligent, well educated people see otherwise. At one time, the intelligent, well educated people thought the World was flat and at the center of the Universe.
Thank God for Heretics
Interesting name, apparentently meaning "one item Japanese carry out" but at any rate, if you had been at UNLV last Monday you would have clearly heard us say that even if we had a purchase order in hand, we could not bid on a route like this. That we are in a development process and wanted to use the two proposals for the LA to LV and the issues with both to make the case that alternative transportation models need to be developed.
It is not surprising that you found the Maglev proposal the most "professional" , it was after all professionally produced and they have been practising for 30 years. Thank you German taxpayers.
Now as for the speed of the Shangai Maglev. You put it at 7 minutes and 20 seconds for an average speed of 155mph. I on the other hand allowed some time for people to actually get on and off. That extra minute and forty seconds you save allows more time to find a taxi to get to where you are actually going.
The FRA did publish the 12 billion dollar figure in 2009 as you said. Of course they were quoting the 2005 estimate of 12 billion. If you use a 5 per cent factor for inflation the estimate should be corrected to over 14 billion in 2009 dollars. This is what the CHSRA has been honest enough to do with their number which has gone from 25 billion in 2000 to the current estimate of about 45 billion.
You say we should disregard the Washington Baltimore numbers as that is for an Unbanized area on the East Coast. LA is just as densly populated as that corridor (40 miles). That puts the Urbanized number at well over 100 million per mile supporting the URS, Orangeline estimate in the SoCal area. Percentage wise, how much of the 269 miles do you think can be built for 45 million a mile? How much is virgin land with no existing infrastructure? TheFRA estimate is now above 5 billion for DC. Of course, DC does not have to worry about seismic events and building for that. Guess the extra money goes to figuring out how to melt the ice and snow on the guideway in that part of the country.
Maglev is truly amazing technology and the people who developed it have a lot to be proud of but it is simply too expensive for the benefits. It is time to move on.
Help me out a bit and send the link to the FRA study. If it is based on a new Maglev beam design then where has the new beam been used. You can call the Shanghia system a commercialized system but you can't say that the new beam has been tested or used in an installed system. Therefore you can't base your cost estimate on it until it is tested. Perhaps you are referring to the beam examined by the University of Texas in Austin, why don't you published those results so everybody can take a look.
A significant portion of the proposed LA to LV route will go through Urbanized areas and a similar distance route, the Orange Line Maglev through the LA area was put at 13.6 billion for 108 miles. URS study, 2003 and available at the Orangeline Maglev Website. 45 million a mile for maglev, at that price you should have had it built by now.
The only thing Maglev is good at floating in thin air is the taxpayers money.
Lewis, thank you for mentioning Tubular Rail in your article. I would like to clear up an inaccuracy in your report. We do not use magnectic levitation as your article reports and which you would have quickly realized had you read the information available at the web site www.tubularrail.com.
Instead the design is for steel rollers fixed inside the rings that are electrically powered to advance the "car" . Corresponding rails mounted the "car" then ride on these rollers. As I am sure you are aware, the efficiency of a steel wheel on steel rail is only exceeded by the efficiency of steel on ice. There simply is no way to justify the cost of maglev systems when the vast majority of energy used at 150mph is consumed by the aerodynamic drag of a vehicle.
You and some of your readers feel that 150 mph speed seems slow but are you aware that there are only four or five high speed rail systems, including the Shangai Maglev, where average point to point speed exceeds 150 mph. The Shangai Maglev actually has an average speed of about 120mph over the 18 mile route.
I know that you picked up the "ridgid" description of the car from the Sun article while in fact the vehicle is better descibed as "semi-ridgid" which allows navigation of a 5000 foot horizontal radius and a 50,000 foot verticle radius. When combined these parameters allow tranversing the topography encountered on this route.
Your picked one of my favourite images for the article but additional images are available at our web site that are more realistic and less stylized than the London one. I trust you realize you don't actually get the girl standing along side the new car in the advertisment when you buy a car.
Finally there is the matter of cost for Maglev and true high speed trains which we are trying to compete with. The Maglev proposed for the LA to LV route will easily cost 25 billion dollars while the Desert Express will cost at least 4 billion but not actually get you to Los Angeles. Although I believe the DE will get built anyways, in part due to political considerations, our costs for the route would be around 6 Billion.
I would be glad to speak with you on this matter and clear up any other uncertianties you may have as I am sure as a journalist you would want to do.
Tubular Rail Inc.
713 681 9501
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