Recommendation: Maglev Trains

Download Recommendation: Maglev Trains

Post on 26-Nov-2014

261 views

Category:

Documents

1 download

Embed Size (px)

TRANSCRIPT

<p>Should Maglev Train be Funded in the United States?</p> <p>A recommendation from:</p> <p>Andrew Hall</p> <p>i</p> <p>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</p> <p>ii</p> <p>Abstract</p> <p>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</p> <p>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,</p> <p>iii</p> <p>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</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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 construction. The results were numerous and I had enough information to make a solid conclusion. Then, I researched the average cost-per-mile of several transportation methods. I compared them, and found that Maglev trains are the cheapest method for passengers to take. 2) Next, I considered the impact speed would have on my decision. I found that most Maglev trains travel at speeds that exceed those of conventional trains. Although jets are faster, I took into consideration that airports are very congested and take a long time to get through. So, I was able to conclude that Maglev trains aren't the fastest mode of travel, but they don't require you to go through time-consuming processes and delays. Traffic and weather have a negative impact on travel time, except when traveling on a Maglev train. In most cases, this makes makes the actual travel time a lot shorter than other methods when traveling on Maglev trains. 3) Then I knew that efficiency was going to be a big factor in my decision. Energy is a hot topic in the United States, especially clean energy. Through my research, I found that Maglev trains do not directly use fossil fuels, and they are actually more energy efficient than all other modes of high-speed transportation. This is definitely a major factor in my decision, so I made sure that the information was correct. 4) Safety is very important when operating any type of machinery. Originally, I was very concerned about magnetic radiation, but after conducting my research, I found that these trains emit the same radiation as a toaster. I was also concerned about the chance of crashes and fires, but it seems that Maglev technology has plenty of fail-safe systems that keep them from crashing. The absence of fuel makes the chance of fire almost nonexistent, and the elevated and barricaded tracks keep foreign bodies off the tracks. 5) After that, I took into consideration the effects Maglev trains have on the environment. Because of the low carbon emission, these trains do not cause global warming. Animals are safe from these trains because of the design of the tracks. Also, Maglev tracks do not require large scale land clearance to build, unlike conventional trains. Finally, Maglev trains are quiet and do not disturb the environment with loud noise. 6) I then wanted to determine who would be the best candidate for funding construction, operations, and maintenance of these Maglev trains. Should it be a private or federal party? Well I explored some of the pros and cons of this subject, and I concluded that both would work but private funding would probably be more effective than federal. 7) Then, I took a look at some of the Maglev projects that have been proposed in the United States. I explored the advantages of utilizing this technology in the U.S., and came up with a few opinions on the what the future of the U.S. would be like if we incorporate Maglev technology into our infrastructure 8) Finally, I analyzed the data I gather and formulated my recommendation.</p> <p>2 Results This section provides the results of my research. I cover the issues of cost, speed, efficiency, safety, impact on the environment, potential investors, and the future of Maglev trains in the U.S. These results correspond to the tasks described in the Research Methods section. 1. Evaluating the the costs The cost of the Maglev trains is the main factor in determining my recommendation. If the costs are too high, no one will be willing to invest in this technology. Fortunately, the initial costs of Maglev trains ,about 30-40 million dollars per mile of dual-track guide-ways, are equal to or less than costs or conventional high speed railroads (Cost Data- n.d.). This includes all components, such as: tracks, signals, operating systems, and power-lines (Cost Data- n.d.). The non-contact levitation system of the Maglev makes the repair and maintenance costs very low, because the frictionless design eliminates wear and tear on all of the components, as opposed to conventional trains (Tsuruoka, 2011). So, it is obvious that the Maglev trains have a clear advantage over conventional trains because of their superior design and low maintenance costs. But what about the costs for the passengers? Because of their sleek, modern designs, one might feel that riding on a Maglev train would be expensive. This is not true at all. It is actually estimated that it would be cheaper to ride a Maglev, per-mile, than traveling in a car, high-speed rail train, or airplane (The Maglev, n.d.). See the table below:</p> <p>Airplane High Speed Rail Automobiles</p> <p>15 cents per mile 50 cents per mile 40 cents per mile</p> <p>Maglev 3 cents per mile Table 1: Comparison of cost per mile for passengers. As you can see in table 1, Maglev trains are estimated to be the cheapest method of transportation per mile. This is because of the low maintenance and minimal consumption of resources. This means that profits should increase exponentially after the initial expenses are regained. This creates incentive for any company that is inter...</p>