Lockheed Martin has announced its support for the Southern California Association of Governments' (SCAG) efforts to ensure timely completion of the high speed magnetic levitation (Maglev) project for Southern California. SCAG is proposing an economic stimulus package that would secure funding for several Southern California projects, including Maglev.
"We applaud SCAG's efforts to address serious transportation infrastructure issues in Southern California," said Ralph Tourino, vice president, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems.
"As a leading integrator for nationally consequential systems, we look forward to working with SCAG to build this proven, high-technology ground transportation system that could revolutionize the transportation industry."
If development funding is secured for Maglev, Lockheed Martin facilities in Palmdale and Santa Maria could contribute to the growth of local high technology employment in areas such as systems integration, project management, technology applications engineering, advanced civil engineering and manufacturing, and vehicle and system assembly and certification.
Maglev vehicles use magnetic forces for lift, lateral guidance and propulsion, allowing the vehicles to hover just above the track, or "guideway," while traveling at speeds of up to 310 miles per hour.
Maglev technology is a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly high-speed ground transportation option.
It is especially well suited to the rapid movement of passengers and cargo in heavily traveled intercity corridors, and is expected to provide relief from traffic congestion and pollution in densely populated areas, while helping relieve airport congestion within the area.
The world's first revenue generating Maglev system operating in an urban environment began initial operations in Shanghai in December 2002. "This technology is ready for implementation in the United States, and California is the perfect place to start," Tourino said.
If final design and construction begins in 2005, Maglev could begin operating in Southern California by 2010, with the full intra-regional system connecting major activity and transportation centers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties operational by 2025.
In May 2002, SCAG awarded a Lockheed Martin-led team a three-year, $16 million contract to perform large-scale engineering pre-deployment studies and design efforts for the proposed high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system for the region.
The team is completing Phase 1 study efforts and will soon begin work on Phase 2 engineering efforts that will support the environmental impact assessment on the initial leg of the intra-regional Maglev system, which would run between west Los Angeles and Ontario.
The Lockheed Martin team includes Transrapid International-USA (TRI) and the IBI Group. As the recognized industry-leader in maglev technology, TRI's Transrapid maglev system has been named the technology of choice by six other U.S. jurisdictions considering maglev systems.
The IBI Group, a leader in transportation planning and engineering, brings significant experience on proven, successful projects in Southern California, including studies of maglev utility in connecting regional airports.
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If the project succeeds, it is expected that the technology would have many potential applications in areas such as environmental monitoring, healthcare and food safety.
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