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11:50 am
Mon June 15, 2009

State task force considers MagLev train

EAST LANSING, MI – Rep. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) says he would recommend building a hydrogen-powered rail line in Michigan, if the project does not require any public funding.

Rogers heads a task force exploring the feasibility of the MagLev train.

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A Michigan company called Interstate Traveler says it can raise enough private funding to build a Magnetic Levitation train linking Detroit, Ann Arbor and Lansing. The train would run on a suspended track above existing freeways and travel up to 200 m.p.h. Passengers could catch the train on a schedule or on-demand at stations located at highway exits.

Rogers says the MagLev could be up and running in a couple of years, but only if private investors can convince the state they can finance the project.

"I just don't know if the money's there," Rogers says. "That's why we're going through this process to say show us the money, show us the system."

The MagLev is in use in China and Japan, but its high price tag has blocked its development in the U.S.