Detroit traffic can be a real bear, but if a radical new rail line is approved, traveling between Michigan's largest cities could become faster, less stressful and cleaner all at the same time. Worldwide Hydrogen Super Highways has come up with a design for an elevated railway that will utilize hydrogen-powered cars that can hit 200 mph. The rail cars would be built by Detroit automakers and use solar energy to charge their hydrogen batteries that will power a magnetic field for propulsion. The rails themselves would be stainless steel and run parallel to existing freeways.
The ambitious project, which could cost up to $2.3 billion ($15 million per mile, yikes!) would run between Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor. The rail lines would be built using only private funding, and the state of Michigan would get half the resulting profits. Additional funding would also come from leasing the rails for utility lines, advertising and, of course, by charging fares to passengers and freight.
The Michigan House is assembling a task force to study the proposal and will investigate its technological and financial feasability, as well as its impact on the environment. If the project is somehow quickly approved, construction could begin next year. Hydrogen-powered shuttles made in Motown sound pretty Buck Rogers to us, but we're hoping there's some substance here. As badly as Michigan could use the cash infusion and the influx of jobs, a $2.3 billion project of this magnitude could be a real winner if it actually works.