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HABANERO7

Chattanooga to Atlanta Maglev

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An article on Chattanoogan.com today is reporting that plans are back on the front burner for a Maglev link between Chattanooga and Atlanta...

This is a joint effort between the city of Chattanooga, Georgia Department of Transportation and the Cumberland Improvement District.

Marietta is covering $875,000 of the study cost

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I would really love to see this get done, but they have been talking about it for several years now. I think its a great idea now that Atlanta has grown so huge and dominant that it sprawls out enough folks actually commute from Chattanooga in car. So surely it could support a regional rail-line to Chattanooga and the towns along the route. Seems like everybody wants to live outside the city further and further, and this would give those folks the ability to do so without having to drive all the way to the city to go to work.

Just seems like in theory a great idea, but we'll all have to wait and see what the study says though.

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No doubt this corridor is very crowded (maybe the most crowded in the SE). I just don't know how much it would help. It's my sense that the majority of traffic through there consists of trucks and X-country travellers to/from the Midwest and the Gulf coast.

I realize that part of the demand envisioned is for the air traffic between the Chattanooga and Atlanta airports. I really have no opinion on this one. It seems that Hartsfield keeps expanding to address its growing requirements.

Its best hope of getting done may be in being a prototype for other projects in the future. This may warrant special funding from Uncle Sam.

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While I'd love to see this project get done, I'm very skeptical that it will ever get built due to the exorbitant cost of Maglev technology. The project would probably cost billions (billions with a "B"). Also, I think the project would have to connect two cities that are each about Atlanta's size to have a reasonable chance to work. Still, I can always hope.

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Does anybody here know if Maglev trains can carry freight? If not, then that would be a huge negative for putting up the new infrastructure.

ATL to CHAT would have to be the first of a large network. CHAT is too small to justify this alone. Georgia wouldn't go for it unless it ensured that ATL would continue to be the hub of the region.

I saw a program on History Channel the other evening about Maglev trains. They can go up to 260mph. At that speed, a person could live in Chattanooga and commute to Atlanta with ease.

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Does anybody here know if Maglev trains can carry freight? If not, then that would be a huge negative for putting up the new infrastructure.
Can they carry freight? Sure. Is it realistic to try to carry freight? No. Maglev uses a lot of smaller height, shorter length cars and very few cars (stuff I've seen is typically 3-5 cars). Freight would ruin the aerodynamics, dropping the speed, it would require stronger electromagnets (more $$$), would be extremely inefficient (high operating costs, minimal amount of freight) and I hate to even consider the mind-boggling momentum of freight moving at 200MPH, they would never get stopped unless they started to slow down 50 miles in advance. Might work for high-dollar goods requiring fast transport, but air would be a better alternative in that case.

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Can they carry freight? Sure. Is it realistic to try to carry freight? No. Maglev uses a lot of smaller height, shorter length cars and very few cars (stuff I've seen is typically 3-5 cars). Freight would ruin the aerodynamics, dropping the speed, it would require stronger electromagnets (more $$$), would be extremely inefficient (high operating costs, minimal amount of freight) and I hate to even consider the mind-boggling momentum of freight moving at 200MPH, they would never get stopped unless they started to slow down 50 miles in advance. Might work for high-dollar goods requiring fast transport, but air would be a better alternative in that case.

Good analysis of Maglev capabilities. I'm sure that Maglev will only be used for high speed passenger transport. Welcome to the Forum, Smurf. Are you from East Tennessee?

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Maglev has yet to prove itself as a viable method of transport anywhere on the planet. Even very high profile projects in China and Japan have been scaled back to just testing because they simply can't get the costs down to where it makes sense to build one. And there are issues with noise, energy usage, and health concerns of exposing people to high magnetic fields. I don't understand why we keep bringing up maglev in the USA when we don't even have high speed conventional rail which can be built for far lower cost and provides almost the same benefits in speed that maglev does.

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Maglev has yet to prove itself as a viable method of transport anywhere on the planet. Even very high profile projects in China and Japan have been scaled back to just testing because they simply can't get the costs down to where it makes sense to build one. And there are issues with noise, energy usage, and health concerns of exposing people to high magnetic fields. I don't understand why we keep bringing up maglev in the USA when we don't even have high speed conventional rail which can be built for far lower cost and provides almost the same benefits in speed that maglev does.
I don't understand the love for maglev either. I see its potential in the future when costs drop. Only advantage is that if it is run through a setup in a vacuum, it could see speeds well in excess of 2000MPH because of the lack of air resistance. Conventional high-speed rail makes sense to me, and could probably be set up in the existing rail corridors. Of course, I'm no civil engineer, but it sounds good.

And yes, Hankster, I'm from East TN. I forgot to update my profile. I'm from Soddy-Daisy, aka. Chattanooga suburbs.

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I don't understand the love for maglev either. I see its potential in the future when costs drop. Only advantage is that if it is run through a setup in a vacuum, it could see speeds well in excess of 2000MPH because of the lack of air resistance. Conventional high-speed rail makes sense to me, and could probably be set up in the existing rail corridors. Of course, I'm no civil engineer, but it sounds good.

And yes, Hankster, I'm from East TN. I forgot to update my profile. I'm from Soddy-Daisy, aka. Chattanooga suburbs.

If the initial price for building a maglev could be brought down it is a much better alternative that high-speed rail. I think as more maglevs get built and the technology develops more, the initial cost of development will go down to a more reasonable level. The reason maglevs offer a better alternative to high speed rail is the fact that high speed rail requires an immense amount of maintenance. The trains go through wheels, brakes and tracks very quickly. The maglev eliminates all that wear and tear because it eliminates the friction aspect of high speed travel. The noise shouldn't be an issue because Maglevs are much quieter than conventional rail, the only noise produced comes from the train passing through the air. They are more energy efficient than regular trains, but only slightly. There are a few other reasons maglevs appear to be better than rail such as the fact that the are able to accelerate and break much quicker and they are also able to go up much steeper grades than a traditional train. I can't speak as far as medical problems related to the magntism, but I don't see that being an issue.

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And yes, Hankster, I'm from East TN. I forgot to update my profile. I'm from Soddy-Daisy, aka. Chattanooga suburbs.

All right! Aonther Chattanoogan in the forum! I look forward to more of your posts!

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I can't speak as far as medical problems related to the magntism, but I don't see that being an issue.

This feature on History Channel (Modern Marvels) addressed the questions about health, and it was stated that the effects of the magnetic field on passengers is negligible (less than a cell phone).

It was also stated that the first Maglev route is planned for Las Vegas to/from Los Angeles.

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This feature on History Channel (Modern Marvels) addressed the questions about health, and it was stated that the effects of the magnetic field on passengers is negligible (less than a cell phone).

It was also stated that the first Maglev route is planned for Las Vegas to/from Los Angeles.

Haha, and there was another one on the Science channel that said the opposite. The problems with maglevs are they are very very noisy, and they use huge amounts of energy to propel the trains. The effects of long term exposure to high magnetic fields on humans is unknown because there are no examples of it in real life.

On the earlier comment about maintenance, I don't think anyone knows what kind of maintenance these trains require because there are no real examples in a production environment except for a short test run in China. After building this test line, the Chinese scrapped a plan to run a maglev from Shanghi to Beijing because they did not consider it cost effective or technically viable. They instead used conventional high speed rail technology from Japan. (I think it was Japan)

Everytime we waste money on a maglev project here in the USA, it is dollars that won't be going towards rail projects that can be actually implemented. Out rail tranist in this country is an embarrasment and is not even operate at the speeds that we had 75 years ago. Maglev is a way to to say the USA is spending money on it without really commiting much money but never achieving any results.

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I tend to agree with you, metro.b. I think something like the latest generation high speed trains from Japan or France would be much better, and much more cost effective. I rode a TGV train (Tres Grand Vitesse or Very High Speed) in France in the late '90's. It was totally awesome. I swear it was smoother than riding in an airplane. The rails are extruded continuously on site as they are being laid. No clackity, clack because it's just one long continuous rail. We effortlessly travelled at 183 mph. It was very cool. I understand that these trains in excess of 200 mph today with the latest technology. The French record at the time was 231 mph. Imagine a transcontinental network of these trains in the US. Wow!

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While it would be amazingly awesome to think of the kind of transit options that trains could provide for us in the future, it saddens me to think that it most likely will not happen in the southern US. At least not in the next 20-30 years. I may live to eat those words, but if going with what the status quo is at the moment, people love their cars far too much to decide to ride a multi-stop train from one destination to another, even the cities are designed for automobiles and not trains. Chattanooga, as great of a choo choo city as it once was, has no train station, it was closed in the 70s if I remember right.

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Chattanooga, as great of a choo choo city as it once was, has no train station, it was closed in the 70s if I remember right.

You are correct. Their former station was turned into a theme restaurant and hotel in 1972. It's still in business as the Chattanooga Choo Choo and Holiday Inn. Regrettably, I don't think passenger trains will come back to Chattanooga ever again. But, the restaurant has recentlly helped that area of downtown see a huge wave of renovation of blocks of turn-of-the-century Federalist/Italianate style buildings. Many of them are being turned into lofts.

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