California ports could use 'maglev' trains

| 12/12/2006

To cut down on truck congestion and pollution, the Port of Los Angeles might use magnetic levitation trains to move cargo from ships to a rail terminal about five miles away.

The so-called maglev trains are suspended and powered by electromagnetic current in such a way that there's virtually no friction.

Port spokeswoman Teresa Adams-Lopez told "Land Line Now" on XM Satellite Radio there are several feasibility studies underway. If the port does decide to use the trains, she said, it will be a first for the industry.

"It would be the first use of maglev in a pot in the nation," Adams-Lopez said. "Outside of the United States, it is being used for commuter purposes, I believe. I haven't heard of it being used for cargo, though."

Lopez said she doesn't know how many daily truck trips would be eliminated by a maglev train system. Right now, she said, there are 30,000 to 35,000 truck trips in and out of the port each day.

- By Reed Black, staff writer