Michigan: Hearings on Hydrogen-Solar-Maglev Supertrain




Got lots of federal recovery money to spend on ecconomic stimulus transportation projects? Then, let’s spend it on questionable studies and silly projects instead of real transit solutions that will solve real transportation problems. Even though this article comes from the USA, Canadian politicians are no different and when there is free money around it’s seldom, if ever spent where it is truly needed.

The claim that a grade separated railway can be had for $12 million/km is just nonsense as the last quote for SkyTrain is over $100 million/km. for elevated guide-way! Yet politicians eat this stuff up and squander millions of dollars on questionable transit studies. It’s just like TransLink and the provincial Liberals.

 Gadgetbahnen seem to attract support from ditzy politicians, sorta like flies are attracted to dung.

The Transport Politic
15 June 2009

Hearings Today on Hydrogen-Solar-Maglev Supertrain for Michigan

States legislature, foolish as ever, contends that the plan is worth consideration.

Back in March, the State of Michigan announced that it would hold hearings on a proposal for a new mass transit system to run between Detroit and Lansing. The Interstate Traveler Company promises to build a 200 mph maglev train, running on hydrogen and solar power, along the right-of-way of several highways. The project would be financed completely through private means. Today, the first of those hearings will be held in the state legislature.

The Interstate Traveler Company has done little more than provide a series of graphics to support its claim that it knows how to create a true high-speed rail system. Its founder, Justin Sutton, has no experience with the rail industry, but he’s won a prize from the American Computer Science Association. That organization is currently promoting the idea that
Bill and Hillary Clinton are supporting terrorism and which refers to the President as Mr. O’Bamma. Nonetheless, Tim Hoeffner, administrator of high-speed rail for the Michigan DOT, thinks Mr. Suttons project is worth examining.

Yet there is little evidence thus far presented that demonstrates how this project could be built at the advertised minimal cost of $15 million a mile or that several miles of track could be built each day, as the website claims. The projects reliance on solar power for energy production is similarly difficult to believe in a place as overcast as Michigan. The vehicles design is questionable at best. The companys proposals for a horse transporter and moving surgery center are strange.

Michigan has a good chance of receiving funds for a new traditional high-speed rail line between Detroit and Chicago; the federal governments $13 billion commitment to fast trains could spark renewal in many of that states declining cities. But the Interstate Traveler Company is not the place to start. How soon will the states legislators figure that out?

Just in. The following is a comment from the Light Rail now folks.

I think this is proposed to be an elevated
monorail-like system, and the highway medians
would just hold the support piers. That sounds
like a lot of grade-separations (overpasses)
would need to be rebuilt, or the system would
need some mighty high flyovers at the overpasses.
And all that, plus stations, plus solar power
facilities and hydrogen refineries for $15
million/mile (12 mn/km)?? Some fairy dust involved here…

My bet is that the proprietor has spread some
campaign contributions around, and is hoping for
one of those interminable “research” grants that
are so familiar with Gadgetbahnen in the USA…

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One Response to “Michigan: Hearings on Hydrogen-Solar-Maglev Supertrain”

  1. David Dearborn Says:

    As the planet heats up and the cost of energy continues to increase, someone somewhere will be doing this. Question is…. who will be the first?


    Zweisysten replies: I rather doubt it. MAGLEV is like the monorail, big on promises but hugely expensive to build and limited in operation.

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