SANDAG has released results of a new study that analyzes the feasibility of a high-speed, magnetic levitation (Maglev) train from San Diego to Imperial County. Phase 1 of the SANDAG Maglev Study evaluates east/west alignments linking San Diego to a potential regional airport site in Imperial County known as the Desert Site.
A high-speed Maglev train could potentially travel 93 miles to the Imperial Valley in 35 minutes or less. The key challenges to implementing the Maglev system include cost and the mountainous terrain. While the project is technically feasible, building such a system would be costly. The capital cost range for the I-8 corridor alignment from the Miramar area, which is the most cost effective and efficient route, is estimated to be between $15.2 to $18.5 billion, or approximately $148 million to $199 million per mile.
In October 2005, the SANDAG Transportation Committee authorized staff to proceed with the scope of work for the Phase 1 study. The approved Phase 1 budget totaled $400,000 with $320,000 provided by a federal earmark and the local matching funds provided by the County of Imperial, the Imperial Irrigation District, and SANDAG. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA) contributed technical work and data completed for its Airport Site Selection Program.
Phase 2 will study the feasibility of north/south Maglev alignments in San Diego and Imperial Counties linking to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) potential Maglev network to the north.
The study, technical appendices, and other materials may be downloaded here.
Leslie Blanda, firstname.lastname@example.org,