Over the weekend, the federal government committed nearly $28 million to take another step toward connecting two US cities with the fastest train in the world, Bloomberg reports. According to the Wall Street Journal, the $27.8 million grant from the Department of Transportation will be used to study planning, engineering, safety, and environmental impacts for a magnetic-levitation train between Washington DC and Baltimore. At speeds in excess of 310mph, a maglev train would cover the 40 miles between the two cities in 15 minutes, Bloomberg reports. The estimated cost of that convenience for commuters is $10 billion. If extended to New York City, riders would be able to get from the Capital to the Big Apple in an hour.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx rode a maglev train in Japan over the weekend and called it a "fascinating technology," Bloomberg reports. Maglev lines use magnets to float train cars above the tracks, eliminating friction. According to the Verge, Japan wants to start exporting its maglev technology. "We are very pleased to see this funding announced," the Japanese ambassador says in a statement. "We will prove that this cutting-edge Japanese technology will be a great asset." While this weekend's grant is a start, Foxx says it's not going to be easy to bring a maglev train stateside, Bloomberg reports. “We have a very serious proposal in Washington now to reduce the overall investment in passenger rail in the US," he says. "We’ve got to get over that hurdle.” (Read more train stories.)