New North-West transport plans include ‘MagLev’ or ‘hover trains’ that can cut Manchester to Liverpool train times from an hour to just seven minutes
Direct City Networks (DCN), a travel firm, is developing plans to run a tunnel network dubbed DCN300+ from Liverpool to Hull. Engineers say it would be “the world’s fastest underground system.”
The futuristic ‘hover train’ or ‘MagLev’ does not have any wheels and doesn’t run on a conventional engine. Instead, it runs on a magnetically-charged cushion of air, and will be able to travel up to 350 miles per hour. The innovation will also run smoothly and quietly, and will not be affected by bad weather conditions.
Currently, trains from Manchester to Leeds take around an hour, but this new technology means the route can be completed in just 7 short minutes.
The plan is focused on a Manchester to Leeds route, but would then be extended to Liverpool and Hull following its anticipated success. The expected cost to establish this route is up to £3.7 billion.
Transport for the North, a Government body, will be considering the submitted plan to improve the region’s transport links.
DCN believes a tunnel would be the best option for the ‘MagLev’ to work alongside Northern Powerhouse Rail. It would run a service, cutting beneath the participating cities and the Pennines.
As billions of pounds will be needed for investment, DCN will soon be revealing their early proposals before launching a feasibility study in detail.
According to Manchester Evening News, a spokeswoman for Transport for the North said: “TfN have been provided with information by Direct City Networks PLC regarding a proposal to initially link Manchester and Leeds with a high speed ‘MagLev’ connection, with the possibility of this being extended to Liverpool and Hull.”
She added: “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.”