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Maglev should come all the way to Penn Station

The magnetic levitation or “maglev” train in Japan can reach 311 mph while floating above its test track. Backers who want to build a similar line in the U.S. say it could transport travelers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes, and from Washington to New York in an hour. But is it feasible?

Your report on the location of magnetic levitation train stations (“List of maglev station sites reduced,” Nov. 16) suggests that the two remaining possible sites still under consideration for Baltimore’s high-speed train station are inconveniently located and probably prohibitively expensive. They also involve serious environmental issues and the destruction of productive and valuable real estate. For the system’s estimated $12-to-$15-billion development costs, we can do better.

More study should be given to locating Baltimore’s maglev base at Penn Station, the city’s geographic center, where it can far more efficiently serve downtown businesses and northern suburban travelers who comprise the vast majority of Amtrak Acela riders

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Contrary to opinions being circulated by other interested parties, maglev can be built affordably at Penn Station where it belongs. The economic impact on Station North with its proximity to theaters and nearby colleges would be enormous, and its midtown site would serve far more riders than the Cherry Hill and Camden Yards locations that are being touted. Think of Towson and Pikesville where tens of thousands of Washington and New York bound travelers live. Get on an Acela and see who’s traveling!

Alan Shecter, Towson

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