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Japan Wants to Spend $5B on a D.C.-Baltimore Bullet Train

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This Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit President Barack Obama to discuss economic, security, and global issues as well as one proposal that may completely revolutionize commuting from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland. Abe is willing to spend $5 billion to build a Japanese bullet-train system, known as the Shinkansen, that would make a trip from the District to Baltimore only 15 minutes long.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the train line uses a magnetic levitation, or maglev, technology that recently reached a record speed of 603 kilometers per hour. The fastest speed that the U.S.'s Acela Express train has reached is 240 kilometers per hour. Abe's proposal goes further with hopes to link Los Angeles and San Francisco; Dallas and Houston; and New York and Washington, D.C.

To make the D.C. to Baltimore commuter's dream a reality, Abe will need Maryland to transfer franchise rights for what was once the Washington Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railroad. By winning contracts in the U.S., Abe hopes this will influence other nations to jump on the bandwagon, thereby reviving Japan's economy.

The below application is a proposal filed September 3, 2014 with the Maryland Public Service Commission by Washington Rapid Rail LLC.

· Abe Aims to Get U.S. On Board Japanese Trains [Wall Street Journal]
· Japan's Prime Minister Abe Really Wants That 15-Minute DC-to-Baltimore Train to Get Built [DCInno]
· Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Abe of Japan [The White House]