Wednesday, May 26, 2010

China Maglev offers 50 mbps upload during trip


The China Maglev last week had a demonstration of mobile broadband along the Maglev track.  Keep in mind, that your normal house DSL line averages 1 or 2 mbps download.  A search for 50 mbps for homeowners...Comcast offers 50-mbps connection for $140 a month.

Last week Huawei demonstrated their Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband set on the ultra-fast “maglev” train which reaches a maximum speed of 267 miles per hour. A trip from end to end on its magnetic levitation track that stretches for about 19 miles takes approximately seven minutes and 20 seconds.
According to Huawei, passengers will be able to enjoy maximum uplink speeds of 50Mbps with the LTE network installed along the track.
The demonstration showed that the LTE network connection on the train held an average speed of around 46Mbps when the train began to depart. The connection was successfully maintained with only a few dropouts when the train got to its maximum speed. But there was a dropout during the demonstration when another train passed by.

Imagine having this type of download speed during the 86 minute travel time from Anaheim to Las Vegas!
Keep Flying on the Ground!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Maglev vs. Airplane (JWA to LAS)


We thought this would be a great time to share travel times one would argue maglev vs. airplane.  All times listed below are based from Disneyland (Anaheim, Ca) to Las Vegas Airport (LAS).

We found (2) very interesting articles both from 2008.  One is from Conde Nast Magazine and the other is from a CNIMP (California - Nevada Interstate Maglev Project) presentation.

(you will need to google the following reports)...

  • Anaheim (Artic) to Las Vegas (LAS) 87.5 minutes (260 miles)
  • Anaheim (Artic) to Ontario (ONT) 14.5 minutes (32 miles)
    • The LAS to Primm segment has been proposed to be built first..."the first 40 miles"
  • Las Vegas (LAS) to Primm, Nv. (State line to California) 12.0 (37 miles) 
These times for the airport segments does not include increased airport screening times.  The Maglev will have security checkpoints just like at the airports but, because the movement will only be approximately 320 passengers per train segment (and will be less boarding at Anaheim so the train can pick-up passengers at Ontario, Victorville, Barstow, Primm, and the proposed new International airport at Ivanpah Valley (between Primm and Jean Nevada) the wait time will be greatly reduced.

Its very interesting to compare that the actual travel times are almost the same.  Which is ideal for moving people back and forth for day trips to both states.

*Please keep in mind that station elements and travel times based on final location(s) of the Las Vegas segment have yet to be announced by the Maglev team.  However, station renderings of downtown, south, and Primm have been released on Facebook.

Keep Flying On the Ground!
Maglev News

Sunday, May 9, 2010

FRA Seeks Applications for $115(M) in Planning & Construction


We came across a press release from the U.S. DOT this week, released in March for the FRA announcing an additional $115 Million Dollars available for planning and construction High Speed Intercity projects.  Applications are due May 19, with announcements in June.

FRA Secretary Ray LaHood last week visited the facility of Maglev Inc. which is planning a 54 mile, 5.2 Billion dollar line from Pittsburgh International Airport to Downtown Monoreville and Greensburg.

"Pittsburgh's maglev was passed over in the first round of $8 billion in federal high-speed rail grants in February. Another $2.5 billion in high-speed rail grants will be available in June, but those will require the state to contribute "matching funds" -- an obstacle given Pennsylvania's financial struggles.
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, who was on hand for the tour, earmarked $23 million for the project over the past decade. Another $28 million in grants was set aside in the last federal transportation bill but hasn't been released because the state has not yet shown it would contribute $5.6 million in matching money. PennDOT has a June 30 deadline to put up the money and a plan for spending the grant, said Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Rob Kulat."
You can find more information about the Pittsburgh project:
The Pittsburgh project also favors the Transrapid model trains.
In other news.... 
The CA/NV Maglev project will also need to "contribute matching funds" which it has done for prior funds but, has been overlooked.  The State of Nevada has had poor luck this past year with trying to receive funds from Washington for various projects.
“To be blunt about it,” said Nicholas Johnson, director of state fiscal policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “if Nevada wanted to capture more federal dollars, they should be cutting less and doing more on the revenue side and supporting those programs with a federal match.”

Lets keep our fingers crossed that everyone involved has dotted the 'i's" and crossed it's "t's."

Keep Flying On the Ground!
CA ~ NV Maglev News. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

BIG MAGLEV NEWS ~ Nevada seek Maglev answers


In a news article from the Las Vegas Sun, the State of Nevada (both the governor, and attorney general) has sent letters to the FRA, USDOT etc.. asking for answers to the issues of releasing the $45 million that was set aside by congress in 2005 then again in 2008.

Keep in mind with previous announcements this past week for ARTIC station in Anaheim starting construction in 2011 and opening in 2013, the Maglev and HSR for CA will need to start soon on construction as ARTIC will only be a station for Metrolink/Amtrack trains for a while.

Fri, May 7, 2010 (3 a.m.)
Nevada political leaders are turning up the heat on the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to find out what happened to all the money the state was promised to start building a magnetic levitation transportation system between Las Vegas and Anaheim, Calif.
Both Gov. Jim Gibbons and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who have been on opposite sides on health care legislation recently, found common ground when it came to maglev funding.
In reality, Gibbons and Cortez Masto know what happened to the money — it got rerouted to a road project at McCarran International Airport at the urging of Sen. Harry Reid, who was frustrated that little had been accomplished by maglev backers for years.
And, as everybody who has followed the recent saga of high-speed transportation knows, Reid switched allegiance from maglev to the predominantly privately financed DesertXpress high-speed rail project between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., in June 2009.
Gibbons and Cortez Masto are now focusing their attention on the FRA, a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, because the state has had communication with the rail agency as recently as last month to get some kind of an explanation about how a congressionally mandated program could be derailed.
Gibbons wrote a letter to Kevin Coates, chairman of the High Speed Rail World USA 2010 conference, which met in Washington last month, to describe the state’s frustration with the bureaucracy.
“… My state has been quite frustrated by what I’ll politely call bureaucratic delays in obtaining the release of federal funding for this most important project — funding that was specifically mandated by Congress in 2005 and again in 2008,” Gibbons’ letter said.
“Just last week, I again asked U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to help me in resolving these delays so that the Federal Railroad Administration will immediately issue a cooperative agreement to the Nevada Department of Transportation so that we can get under way with the final stages of development. And, in fact, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office just last week made a formal legal demand on the Federal Railroad Administration to issue the necessary cooperative agreements to the Nevada Department of Transportation. My understanding is that the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia and Tennessee have experienced similar funding delays,” the letter said.
Cortez Masto’s six-page letter to FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo chronicles the entire history of NDOT’s communications on the maglev project beginning with Congress’ passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) on Aug. 10, 2005.
Cortez Masto’s letter, copied to Gibbons, NDOT Director Susan Martinovich and LaHood, lists every delay and every administrative handoff that occurred in the state’s bid to secure $45 million in the 2008 and 2009 fiscal years.
“Because there is presently and continues to be no end in sight for the FRA’s completion of its responsibilities regarding the scope of work and cooperative agreement, NDOT seeks a date certain from you, the FRA administrator, for the FRA’s completion of its responsibilities regarding the scope of work and cooperative agreement,” Cortez Masto said near the close of her letter. “Given the lengthy delay that has occurred, it is fair that the date certain be within two weeks of the date of this letter.”
It was dated April 7.
Nevada officials weren’t the only ones applying pressure to the FRA.
Coates, a maglev supporter, issued a white paper in conjunction with the high-speed rail conference he organized describing how the FRA hasn’t kept up with the technological leaps of the rest of the world and how the rising cost of oil should be a part of the equation when determining what high-speed transportation system is best for the country.
Coates contends that it’s maglev because it runs on electricity and new construction technologies enable the power to be encased in the vehicle guideway, saving money.
The new design, developed by the Max Bogl Group, would make maglev construction costs comparable if not less than existing high-speed rail designs, he said. The Max Bogl Group is a German construction company that has been a part of Germany’s maglev development team.
“The ability to run power lines under and within guideways is a new cost-saving measure,” Coates’ paper says. “It also introduces a higher level of system reliability because the power lines are protected from severe weather events. With (high-speed rail), electrification of the line is accomplished by the installation of catenary (the overhead electrical wiring in an electrical train design), not an inexpensive proposition. In addition, HSR requires the installation of a highly reliable signaling system, something that is completely built into the maglev computerized command and control system.”
Coates concludes that the FRA needs to step up to the 21st century instead of sticking with the existing high-speed rail systems used by Amtrak in the Northeast.
“If maglev is now cheaper to build than HSR, can run in all sorts of inclement weather due to its frictionless operation and has dramatically lower operations and maintenance costs at all speeds, why would a rail operator in the United States pursue anything less?” Coates wrote. “With Amtrak running passenger rail operations in the U.S., we can only expect much less.”
Gibbons concurs.
“Please help me send a message to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration that it’s time our bureaucracy began moving as fast as these trains,” Gibbons concluded in his letter to the conference.
“After all, President Obama, when running for election in 2008, said he wanted to build the fastest train in the world right here in the United States, not just watch it go by in Shanghai. My state is ready to oblige him. What better place to demonstrate this proven new technology than Las Vegas, where 40 million visitors come each year from all over the world.”

Keep Flying On the Ground!
Maglev News

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shanghai Maglev breaks down stranding 269 for (1) hour

Update: May 7
It was balloons that crippled the Maglev airport express on Wednesday morning, Shanghai's electric authority said yesterday.

Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd, the city's power supplier, said a 220-kilovolt electric line in the Pudong New Area was tripped by the threads of some balloons, which were released by a commercial plaza during the opening ceremony.

The instant voltage fluctuation affected the power system of the nearby Maglev, and the operator of the express halted the very first train at 6:45am, which had just left the Longyang Road station.

No punishment for the commercial plaza has been reported, according to the power company.

"Such cases of outer forces breaking down the power supply always happen," said Wang Changxing, media officer of the company.

"People and company don't pay enough attention to power utility protection, which is a big hidden hazard."

He appealed to locals to pay more attention to the power utilities. 


The Shanghai Maglev broke down this morning at 6:45a standing 269 passengers.  (70) of those passengers were late connecting to flights at the airport.

The Maglev breakdown was caused by a "malfunction in the power-supply network, a very rare situation" a company official stated.  However not all was loss as the 2nd track operated normally during repairs.

No mention if this was effected by the new train that was created or if it was even on the tracks at the time.

Heres the entire article.

ABOUT 70 commuters in Shanghai on the very first Maglev train to Pudong International Airport early yesterday missed their planes due to a breakdown. 

The train was supposed to arrive at the airport in 7 minutes and 20 seconds but the 269 passengers, including the 70 who eventually missed their flights, ended up being stranded aboard for nearly an hour before repairs were completed.

The train broke down about a minute after it left the Longyang Road Maglev Station at 6:45am, the first Maglev to undertake the 30-kilometer airport trip. 

Maglev traffic was not fully halted due to the breakdown as the second track operated normally during the repairs, a Maglev management company official said. 

"The breakdown was caused by a malfunction in the power-supply network, a very rare situation," he said.

All affected commuters received refunds upon arrival at the airport and Maglev staff members helped people who had to book new flights.

"We stayed in touch with the airport throughout the emergency and asked officials to fast-track flight procedures for the affected passengers," he said. 

However, for roughly 70 of them it was all too late.

The Maglev operator said it paid the renewal charges incurred by the affected passengers as part of an emergency compensation policy. 

"Some passengers had a really tight schedule and missed their flights," the official said.

It was the first time that a Maglev service breakdown influenced such a big number of passengers, according to the operator.

The Shanghai Maglev line is the first commercial service of its kind in the world and was launched in 2004. 

A short breakdown also occurred on another fast-speed transport link to Pudong's airport yesterday morning. 

A train on Metro Line 2's newly launched eastern extension that takes in the airport broke down for about 10 minutes at 9:42.

The train in question suffered mechanical problems, the Metro operator said.

Keep Flying On the Ground!

CA ~ NV Maglev News.

ARTIC Station to Break Ground in 2011


More Anaheim News...

The ARTIC high speed rail station in Anaheim will break ground in 2011 to be open by 2013! 

ARTIC Honored for Sustainable Design Set to break ground next year, the project will use innovative, environmentally- friendly technologies and assist in stimulating the local economy
ANAHEIM, CA - (May 4, 2010) - Plans for the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) were awarded the 2010 Compass Blueprint Recognition Award for Sustained Leadership.

The Southern California Association of Governments will hold its fourth annual Compass Blueprint Recognition Awards in La Quinta on May 5 to honor plans and projects throughout the region that coordinate land use and transportation initiatives and work toward improving the mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability of our region.
The panel of eight judges praised the plans for ARTIC because of the state-of-the-art facility that uses innovative, environmental-friendly technologies and the new development opportunities it creates that complement and support the local economy.
ARTIC is envisioned to be a transportation hub that is functional, adaptable and flexible. The facility will accommodate current and future modes of transportation, such as high-speed train service, and is being designed as a vibrant urban center that offers civic and public space.
ARTIC is situated at major freeways and is a short walk from Angel Stadium of Anaheim and Honda Center. Construction on the 16-acre site, owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority and Anaheim, is expected to begin next year.  For more information about ARTIC, visit the project Web site at
Very exciting movement!  

Keep Flying On the Ground!
Maglev News 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NEW ANAHEIM area Transit site


We came across an update to the Anaheim (Disneyland / Convention) area and how its going to connect to the Artic project.  Within the website it states that the full web site will be up and running by spring of 2010.  (That should be any day now).

This will be an exciting project especially for Disneyland visitors.  As one of the stops might be across from the additional parking lot that Disneyland owns (the Pumba parking lot) (soon to become parking structure) on DisneyWay across the street from the Anaheim GardenWalk outdoor district.

Disneyland has yet to announce how much it will be involved with the project, but with the expansion project of Disney's California Adventure and new Cars themed land will further increase park attendance, resulting in increased vehicle traffic.  The ARC project with ARTIC station will help reduce vehicles and move visitors back and forth across Anaheim to California High Speed Rail and the California Nevada Maglev Project.

Here are some screen shots from the web page.

Theres not much within the website right now, but as the Anaheim project becomes completed riders will be able purchase tickets, timetables, etc...

Please visit prior postings to find out additional information about the ARC project.

In other ARTIC news.  
ARTIC has posted bids for proposals to achieve LEED status.  The Due date was April 5 with the contract being awarded in May 2010.
You can find the paperwork here.

Keep Flying On the Ground!
Maglev News


Korea Un-manned MAGLEV debut in 2012


Korea will debut a unmanned MAGLEV in 2012.

Unmanned magnetic levitation train

"The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said Monday that it will finish constructing a 6.1 kilometer railway by 2012 within the country's main airport and begin running unmanned magnetic levitation trains that will travel at 110 kilometers per hour. The ministry also unveiled a prototype of the train.

As one of Korea's state-funded research and development (R&D) projects, the government decided in 2006 to invest 450 billion won ($400 million) into developing the magnetic trains and railway tracks by 2012. Countries like Japan and Germany have been active in maglev research as an alternative to today's wheeled mass transit systems"

Because there is no physical contact between the vehicle and the track, the maglev system has many advantages ― it can travel at very high speeds with reasonable energy consumption and at low noise levels.

The futuristic transportation system had its debut in the early 1980s, but economic limitations have pose stumbling blocks to its full-fledged commercialization.

``We will continue to work hard to successfully introduce the maglev system over the next two years and launch a trial service in 2013 at Incheon International Airport. If the operation proves to be successful, many municipal administrations will rush to bring in this transport system to improve their mass transit,'' a ministry official said.

He also said the ministry will seek to cut the costs of building the maglev train tracks to as low as 40 billion won per kilometer. ``If so, the transport scheme will be economically feasible. We will then try to export our maglev trains and related technologies to other countries.''