"I think I can, I think I can!" If Baltimore will just keep saying that, it may even come true. A train that could zip between Baltimore and Washington in 15 minutes is still just a gleam in Mayor Schmoke's eye, but the idea moved a step closer to reality this week when he appointed a committee to raise $500,000 to study the feasibility of a magnetic levitation line for Baltimore.
The money would be used to match a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Several states are competing for those funds as well as for money to build a 30 to 40 mile prototype maglev line, estimated to cost up to $1 billion.
With consolidation of Baltimore and Washington into a single metropolitan statistical area, the two cities now constitute the core of a huge regional market. It's only logical they should be connected by a state of the art transportation system that would make travel between them equivalent to a subway ride. Despite tough times right now, maglev is an investment that could yield enormous benefits to both cities well into the 21st century.