High speed commuter train possible, but not in the cards just now

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:47

    MARSHALLS CREEK - U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s comments last week about a train that could provide a 20-minute commute to New York City have prompted more inquiries than the Wall Street West project. State Rep. John Siptroth said Kanjorski has spoken of the train before, but it remains in the very early planning stage. The technology able to accomplish this is called magnetic levitation. So-called “maglev” train is used in Germany and Japan. That train, which does not have an engine, is propelled forward by electromagnetic force. It glides above the guide rail approximately .39 and 3.93 inches and is propelled just the way two magnets of similar polarity repel each other at speeds up to 310 miles per hour, according to the Railway Technical Research Institute. Siptroth says that we should not invest any more money into old technology. “Magnet levitation is being proposed which would provide a 20-minute train ride from Stroudsburg to New York City. (But) a lot has to be done,” before a new rail system can replace the old. A private investor is needed. A tunnel will need to be built under the Hudson River or a new bridge will have to be constructed. There also is talk about a new cargo airport which would be able to move freight into the proposed new 300,000-square-foot PRBC (Pennsylvania Regional Business Center) for which construction will begin at Marshalls Creek in 2007. The mag-lev train could be used for freight when it is not being used for passenger service. “We have the ability to do all the rail service here in Pennsylvania,” Siptroth told the Courier. “A prototype is being designed between Pittsburgh and their airport,” he added. The proposed mag-lev is part of a comprehensive five-phase plan for “Wall Street West,” an alternate communications and data center to augment New York City’s financial district in case of another attack or catastrophe.