A Map of Possible Maglev Noise and Vibration Impacts in Greenbelt, Maryland

Maglev Noise and Vibration Impacts
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In October 2017, the Maryland Department of Transportation announced
three possible routes for the 300-mph superconducting maglev train
between Washington DC and Baltimore (http://www.bwmaglev.info/).
Two of these three routes would pass through Greenbelt.  The route
with the most impact to Greenbelt is designated "alternative J1"
and is shown on this map.  Leaving the Washington DC terminus to
the south or the proposed BWI maglev station to the north, the
north-bound and south-bound maglev trains would reach their 300-mph
cruising speed prior to reaching Greenbelt.

 

Under alternative J1, the maglev trains would be underground in
Washington DC and above ground north of Greenbelt, exiting its
tunnel within the Greenbelt Forest Preserve close to the present-day
Northway athletic fields.  The below-ground portion of the track
is represented as a red dotted line on the map and the above-ground
portion is represented as the solid red line on the map.

 

Once the maglev train comes above ground, Federal Railroad
Administration guidelines indicate that a noise nuisance may be
created within 1,900 feet of the track if 4 trains pass Greenbelt
per hour, and 3,000 feet from the track if 8 trains pass Greenbelt
per hour.  These distances are indicated with the solid, red outlines
on the map.  At either 4 or 8 trains per hour, the noise nuisance
would likely impact much of the Greenbelt Forest Preserve, and to
varying degrees, the residences within Greenbelt Homes Inc. (GHI)
near the Forest Preserve.  These effective residences might include
GHI units along Ridge Road including 34 court through 57 court Ridge
Road, as shown on the map.

 

Whether above ground or below ground, the train's high-speed passage
would generate vibrations that the soil would transmit, limiting
certain types of economic activity near the track.  According to
guidelines published by the Federal Railroad Administration in 2012,
a 300-mph maglev train line would limit certain kinds of economic
activity within 300 feet or within 650 feet of the track, depending
on the soil's properties.  These two distances are shown in the map
using a transparent blue area and a solid blue outline, respectively.
A number of medical, research, or manufacturing facilities currently
exist in Greenbelt close enough to the proposed maglev track that
it may be worthwhile to evaluate if the proposed maglev track would
negatively impact them.  These businesses are located along Greenbelt
Road, Hanover Parkway, and Ora Glen Drive.

 

This map was created merely to encourage a consideration of possible
impacts, and it is in no way definitive.  It represents an effort
to represent federal guidelines related to sound and vibration
impacts.  No decisions should be made based on information shown
on this map without first having a professional with a relevant
background verify its accuracy and applicability.

 

Reference: Federal Railroad Administration, 2012: High-Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment.  report number DOT/FRA/ORD-12/15.  Available online at https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L04090.

 

 

 

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