The US Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded a $27.8m grant to the state of Maryland for a potential superconducting magnetic levitation (SCmaglev) train between Washington and Baltimore.
According to the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Baltimore-Washington corridor was one of three corridors in the US eligible to apply for these funds for maglev projects.
Preconstruction planning, engineering analysis and other capital costs for fixed guideway infrastructure will be carried out on building a high-speed rail line that would carry passengers between Washington and Baltimore in about 15min.
The funding will support private-sector efforts to bring maglev trains to the region as part of a larger vision for building a maglev system along the Northeast Corridor.
For the federal grant, Maryland’s department of transportation has submitted an application in April, with an understanding that the Japanese Government and private group Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail would provide significant financial backing for the project.
Maryland governor Larry Hogan said: "The ability to travel between Baltimore and Washington, DC in only 15mins will be absolutely transformative, not just for these two cities, but for our entire state.
"This grant will go a long way in helping us determine our next steps in this transportation and economic development opportunity."
Maglev trains use magnetic technology that allows them to reach speeds of more than 300mph.
The FRA said it will evaluate the viability of this maglev project to achieve its high-safety standards while assessing the potential of this technology to address future intercity travel needs.
In June, Hogan and Maryland transportation secretary Pete Rahn joined executives from the Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) and the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail to ride the 27 mile-long Yamanashi Maglev Line located outside of Tokyo, Japan, in support of these private-sector efforts to explore building high-speed rail in Maryland.
Earlier this year, the JR Central train achieved a record-breaking 375mph.