Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The Japanese are not immune to hype.  They are talking about funding the construction of a Maglev train in the US.  As this article notes, it is highly unlikely.  Construction would cost billions that neither the Japanese nor the Americans have, not including right of way, new tunnels, signaling and other necessities.  Maglev trains have been the transportation of the future for quite some time.  The problem is that the future has yet to arrive but for a few installations globally, and even those are not doing well.  Yet, the Japanese plod on and continuing to refine the technology.  American visitors to the test track in Japan burbled with delight about the train's speed and stability but it was clear that they did not bear any checks and were looking for a hand-out.  How long can a country continue to spend on magnetic levitation is anyone's guess, but look for the day when it becomes a scandal and is finally shut down.  The problem with hype is that sooner or later reality intrudes and when it does the after-effects are brutal.  Just ask Tesla.  


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