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The Future of Transit will be Union Made

New Maglev company in Baltimore agrees to build union

Brian Young's picture
Nov 07, 2017

Technology is constantly changing, but many of the trains that we ride on are still stuck in the last century. One company is trying to change that by building a high-speed train that will bring you from Baltimore to Washington D.C. in only 15 minutes.

The $10 Billion project would incorporate Japanese superconducting magnetic levitation technology. Commonly called a Maglev, this train would shorten the hour-long trip between the Charm City and the Nation’s Capital to only 15 minutes. This short ride will be a test run for the technology and the company hopes to expand the line to New York City.

While still early in the regulatory process, Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail, the firm trying to build the Maglev, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the North American Building Trades Unions (NABTU) ensuring that the project will be done union. In return, the NABTU ill use their considerable political clout to help get the project the needed regulatory approvals, both from Maryland and the Federal Government. Additionally, Baltimore Washington Rapid Rail says that service on the system will also be given to NABTU.  

The project which has the bipartisan support of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, would create 1,500 permanent jobs once it was completed and tens of thousands of construction jobs. Due to the scope of the project, the entire region would have to transform. The high speeds of the Maglev mean that new, straighter tunnels will need to be dug.

The signing of the MOU is also important because there is a competing high-speed rail project in Maryland. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, recently got permission from Hogan to start digging beneath the Baltimore-Washington Parkway for his 10.3-mile tunnel that will house Hyper-Loop. Musk recently has recently been in the news for his union-busting tactics and hellish working conditions.

Both projects seem to be a ways away from actually breaking ground. Both will require many more permits and approvals not only from Maryland but also from the Federal Government. Plus they both still need to raise billions in funds, but if Maglev is built, it will be built by the most skilled tradesmen in the country.

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