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mr.rwilson

Does anybody else think it would be a good idea to run a Maglev train from Detorit to Grand Rapids?

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I was just wondering what the response would be if the State of Michigan decided to build a Maglev Train that ran from Detroit to Grand Rapids connecting cities like Ann Arbor, Howell, and Lansing? Does anybody think that would be good for the state?

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I'm not sure there would be a market for that kind of train, because of that, it would probably be little more than a novelty, thus, ridiculously high-priced tickets to ride it. I would think that once you get past out past Howell (maybe Lansing), the ridership numbers just wouldn't be there for this to be feasible. Something as serious maglev would have to have an incredibly strong beginning ridership to be successful. You could make this work for just pleasure trips/choice trips. You'd need an unquestionably solid commuter ridership to make this work.

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Maybe AA to Detroit, but not GR to Detroit, regular high speed rail would be more affordable.

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I was just wondering what the response would be if the State of Michigan decided to build a Maglev Train that ran from Detroit to Grand Rapids connecting cities like Ann Arbor, Howell, and Lansing? Does anybody think that would be good for the state?

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Conventional rail would be a much more cost effective solution.

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You have to consider who would use this maglev rail between GR and Detroit. Commuters? There probably aren't a great number who make that commute all the way across the state to justify Billions in capital costs. Salespeople who need to travel to Detroit daily? They need a lot more flexibility than a mass transit system can provide. Going to visit Grandma? Will the maglev drop me off at her door, or will I have to transfer to a shuttle bus at some point with luggage in tow.

I think all these ideas of transit between cities (Holland to GR, Howell to AA, AA to Detroit, Lansing to GR) are the wrong way to go. You have to study where the greatest number of people are commuting to and from EVERY DAY, and where they are "storing" their cars. Then work to solve that problem and you'll have the most success with a mass transit system.

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Agreed GRDad.

If any system existed between the two cities, there would have to be huge incentives for using it instead of just taking the freeway. At that point, as monsoon stated, it would be better to build conventional rail instead of a mag-lev which isn't specific in where it stops. It wouldn't be used by commuters rather people who just want to travel from one city to other because they can instead of driving. Even if it existed, I'd probably just want to drive to GR anyway.

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Yeah, something like Maglev only works between two places that actually have a need to be connected beyond pleasure and choice trips. We're talking dynamic economies with relatively high decenties and commuting patterns that require such a fast commute. That's why the only place in the world you see them is in Eastern Asia (i.e. Japan and China) with the exception of the line in Germany. Again, you actually have to have two legitimate strong places that rely on one another to connect. There aren't many of those in the North America, let alone in Michigan.

All that said, I'd love to see high-speed conventional lines somewhere in this state, and particularly from places like Flint, Ann Arbor, and Lansing/Howell/Brighton. In fact, these have been studied and conceived.

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Maglevs are astronomically expensive to build. With Michigan in the economic gutter and a state government that can barely pay for itself, Meglevs in Michigan shall promptly be filed in my "Ha! In your Dreams" folder at least until the economy picks up and pulls this state back into the black again. But even if that happens I would count on more conventional means of high speed rail being implemented well before Maglevs even becomes a thought in the minds of state and local leaders.

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BTW, while we're discussing rail, here's the conceptualization of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative/Midwest Regional Rail System:

754px-Midwest_regional_rail_initiative_jc01.jpg

I'm sure people are probably familiar with it, but this is a framework off of which we should be working.

And a link:

http://www.midwesthsr.org/

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God, but Amtrak is so lousy ^^^

I was just thinking, if there isn't already Maglev trains between cities along the East Coast, then there is no hope of one coming to Michigan.

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I feel that the State of Michigan needs something BIG to pull itself out of its slump and make a place for it's self in the global economy. I believe that building a Mag-Lev or high speed train across the state would provide a big incentive for people to stay in and move to Michigan. It would create more vital downtowns around the stations. Why does a Mag-Lev have to only be between 2 points, what is stopping it from stopping in Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Brighton, Howell, Lansing and Grand Rapids? Building a connection across these communities would connect a very educated population to many other areas of the state. It could create more opportunities for people who might not be able to afford to go away to college to commute to one of our states great educational institutions. I believe that it would also spur the development of more traditional mass transit options like light or heavy rail that would connect out from this backbone to other cities like Southfield, Pontiac, Novi, and Plymouth. I understand that it would require huge amounts of capital to develop, build and run, but while all of that is happening it will help Michigan

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Again, you need a huge commuter base to even begin to make something like this feasible, and they are used for high-speed travel between a few points, making a bunch of relatively close stops useless. It would be hard enough for this to be feasible connecting the key East Coast cities, let alone relatively small population nodes to a large population node in Michigan. There is a reason why there are only 6 such lines in existence and all Asia, except one, and that one, and that one is in Germany.

Really, what system of major commuter nodes in this state would justify such a system? I can literally think of maybe less than a dozen interurban lines on this entire continent that could work, and none of them are close to being in Michigan. I think the idea is cool as the next person, but we're still many years off from something this expensive.

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Your thinking is in the right direction mr.rwilson, but your execution leaves much to be desired. As LMichigan said, the number of commuters traveling between cities is just not there to justify spending $Billions (and I mean $Billions) on a maglev system. If you really think about it, if you travel on I-96 between GR and Lansing, or Lansing and Detroit, sure there are quite a few cars, but nothing like the number of cars traveling on I-696, I-275, I-75, US-131 and I-94. Why is that? Where are the greatest number of people coming from and going to in Michigan? How do you build a system to help alleviate some of that pressure on the roads?

You have to look at it on a metro area level and not the state level. You'd never get the current or future legislators in Lansing to approve something so colossal while the State works out of its doldrums over the next 15 years. And frankly, they shouldn't approve something like that. First, pick the largest population centers and largest employment and institutional (colleges mainly) centers in the metro. If it's Detroit, the largest employment centers are probably downtown, Southfield, Troy, Auburn Hills, Plymouth, Farmington Hills, Warren, etc.. (I'm sure there are more). Now how do people get to these employment centers in the greatest numbers? A recent study I read about Detroit is that it is "suburb-to-suburb" commuting. That certainly makes it harder to plan, but not impossible.

Then you should find existing rail corridors as close to these expressways as possible, either in active use or abandoned, and look at either building new rail or using existing rail for light rail lines. Build park-n-ride lots at all the stations nearest the "population centers", and leave out parking near the employment centers. These light rail lines then connect to "nodes" at both ends and along the route, which are then served either by streetcars or express buses.

That's how successful transit system are built, and how they capture the most ridership. Suburbanites drive to the park-n-rides, and take the train to their connection to their place of work. Urbanites walk to the train at the stations closer in. And the investment in this kind of system pays off big time in

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