High-speed rail plans to slash journey times

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A Maglev hover train. Pic © N509FZ Wikimedia Commons

A train line which could get passengers from Liverpool to Manchester in just seven minutes is being considered by transport bosses.

The ‘hover train’ is being developed by Direct City Networks and would be the world’s fastest underground system, running from Liverpool to Hull in 29 minutes.

Direct City Networks is working on the proposals, whereby the high-speed vehicle could potentially travel at 350mph.

The DCN300+ would be a Maglev train – a magnetic levitation system where vehicles hover above tracks and are propelled by electrically charged magnets.

These plans would see magnetic levitation trains put into a tunnel that stretches across the North.

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A proposal has been submitted to Transport for the North, the Government body that looks at improving the region’s transport links, but the company has highlighted several areas that need work, stating that they can not confirm that the scheme will go ahead.

A spokesperson for Transport for the North told JMU Journalism: “Direct City Networks have submitted an initial proposal and we have responded to this by highlighting several areas where we think substantive additional development work would be needed before any proposal could be given more detailed consideration.

A Maglev hover train. Pic © Alex Needham Wikimedia Commons

“Our current priorities include the preparation of a long-term Strategic Transport Plan for the North and development of the Northern Powerhouse Rail proposals, which will identify plans for infrastructure needed to transform the region’s economy by offering fast, frequent and reliable transport around the North for both passengers and freight.”

Labour Metro Mayor candidate Steve Rotheram is also said to be looking into the scheme, which is set to be launched publicly in the near future.

However, this is not the first time high speed train plans have been announced.

In 2008, UK Ultraspeed suggested a similar system linking Liverpool and Manchester, claiming that they could reduce the travelling time to 10 minutes.

The company proposed plans for a 311mph magnetic levitation system, stating that they could carry more than 1,000 passengers on an electro magnet controlled path.

Last year, plans for a ‘High Speed 3’ line between the two cities were revealed, stating that journey times could be cut to 21 minutes. The HS3 scheme could have also cut the journey time from Liverpool to London from two hours to an hour and a quarter.


About Cheyenne Hansen, JMU Journalism