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Should Maglev Train be Funded in the United States?

A recommendation from:

Andrew Hall

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Funding Maglev Trains in the United States: Recommendation ReportPrepared for: Prepared by: Kenneth Rayes, Instructor of English 2152-002, Instructor at the University of New Orleans Andrew Hall, Student of English 2152-002, Engineering undergrad at the University of New Orleans May 10, 2011

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Abstract

Funding Maglev Trains in the United States: Recommendation ReportPrepared by: Andrew Hall, Student of English 2152-002, Engineering undergrad at the University of New Orleans

The population in the United States is rising steadily. This directly increases the demand for a more efficient mass transit system. The citizens will need more alternatives for transportation. Alternatives that are modern and efficient. If the U.S. does not address this problem our airports, interstate highways, and railroads could be in a perpetual state of gridlock. Maglev trains may be a solution to this problem. Maglev trains, or magnetically levitating trains, are one of the most advanced and innovative methods of transportation. These state-of-the-art trains use magnets to allow the cars to float along the tracks at high speed. Implementing these trains in our region could have a significantly positive impact on our nation's future. The purpose of this report is to recommend whether Maglev trains should or should not be funded in the United States. I compiled information from various sources, including my own knowledge of the subject, to make an honest, unbiased assessment of this topic. I based my recommendation off of reliable information that I found in my sources, not my own opinion. I explored and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of Maglev trains, so that I could give a conclusive recommendation. And based on the information that I gathered, I concluded that Maglev trains would be a great improvement to our transportation system, so they should be funded in the U.S. These high-speed, environmentally-friendly trains will relieve pressure on fossil fuel consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, because they use magnetic propulsion instead of combustion to accelerate. The safety and high-speed capability of these trains make them a great alternative to other conventional modes of transportation. The advantages of Maglev trains highly outweigh the disadvantages, so I strongly endorse the concept of financing the construction and operation of public Maglev trains in the United States. Keywords: trains, magnet, maglev, funding, magnetically, levitating, railroad, transportation, highspeed, environmentally-friendly, recommendation,

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Table of Contents Cover........................................................................................................................................................... i Title Sheet.................................................................................................................................................ii Abstract...................................................................................................................................................iii Introduction..............................................................................................................................................1 Research Methods....................................................................................................................................2 Results.......................................................................................................................................................3 1. Evaluating the the costs...............................................................................................................3 2. The speed factor........................................................................................................................3-4 3. The efficiency of Maglev trains...................................................................................................4 4. Safety concerns.............................................................................................................................5 5. Impact on the environment.........................................................................................................5 6. Who should finance the project..................................................................................................6 7. The future of Maglev trains in the United States......................................................................7 Conclusion.................................................................................................................................................8 Recommendation......................................................................................................................................9 References..........................................................................................................................................10-11 Glossary...................................................................................................................................................12 List of Illustrations Figures Figure 1: Shanghai's Maglev in action.....................................................................................................5 Figure 2: An illustration showing how greenhouse affect........................................................................6 Figure 3: 1st Wave in blue, 2nd Wave in Green and 3rd Wave in red........................................................................7 Tables Table 1: Comparison of cost per mile for passengers................................................................................3

Introduction In the spring of 2011, I was assigned to complete this recommendation report as a final project in my technical writing class. The goal of this report is to research, analyze, and recommend a topic of relevance. I chose to research the state-of-the-art Maglev trains. It is clear that the United States need new methods of transportation that add alternatives to the existing methods. I felt that I was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and interested enough to make a recommendation and produce a report on this topic. When I conducted my research, it was my goal to analyze the advantages and disadvantages Maglev trains. When considering my recommendation for funding these trains, I kept these factors in my mind: cost, safety, impact on the population, effects on the ecosystem, efficiency,and the overall pros and cons of Maglev trains. It is a fact that the population in the United States is steadily increasing. This puts a lot of pressure on the transportation systems. Many of the highways and interstates are clogged with cars on a daily basis. Airports are congested and it's not uncommon to have to pay too much money for tickets or experience delays and layovers. Airplanes may be fast, but they certainly aren't as efficient as they should be. Also, gasoline prices are constantly rising, thus making it more expensive to travel through these means. All of these issues are burdening our infrastructure. There are many approaches to solving this problem. This gave me the chance to address this issue with a proposal for introducing the a Maglev transit system in the United States. I started my research in the libraries and book stores. Unfortunately, these facilities have little to no information about Maglev trains, so I was forced to continue my research through the internet. There is a plethora of information on the internet, but I was still disappointed in the lack of popularity. I wanted to consider a few main issues when I did my research. First, the cost of these trains was huge factor when determining my recommendation. Cost has a direct influence on the decision of those who would consider financing the project. So, it was also beneficial for me to explore who would be the best financier, the government or a private corporation. Then, I considered the safety of these trains. Not many people would want to invest in or ride these trains if they weren't relatively safe. It was also very important for me to research the impact these trains would have on the population and ecosystem. Maglev trains are very expensive, so they have to be beneficial enough to offset the high costs. Finally, I analyzed the pros and cons of Maglev trains as a mode of transportation. Maglev trains won't have many passengers if they can't compete with pre-existing modes of transportation, such as airplanes and automobiles. I concluded that Maglev trains, with their superior speed and efficiency, would be a great addition to the nation's transportation system. The relative safety of these trains would make them appealing to potential passengers. The high-speed capabilities of these trains surpass any other type of travel method on land. These trains should have a positive impact on the ecosystem, because they do not emit greenhouse gases or consume many resources. Having this alternative should unburden the infrastructure and offer another high-speed mode of transportation to the people. So, the initial investment may be quite costly, but any financier that is willing to fund the the project will probably not regret the choice after the construction is complete. I recommend that Maglev trains should be funded in the United States. In the following sections, I will provided detailed information about my research methods, the results I obtained, the conclusions I drew from the results, and my formal recommendation.

1 Research Methods To gain a better understanding of Maglev trains and their impact on society, I performed the following tasks: 1) First, I needed to know the average cost of Maglev trains. So, I conducted the necessary research to determine the the cost of c

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