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The Cruelty Of Math

Thing Number One:
10 Sci-Fi Techs We Could Build If They Weren't So Damn Expensive. Here's #7 on the list:

New York-L.A. Maglev Express
Cost: $70 billion (Based on established construction costs)
Pricey, yes? Yes.

Thing Number Two:
The War in Iraq Costs. As I'm looking at it right now, it's just over $492 billion.

In other words, we could have built seven cross-continental maglevs already.

Update: Is Wired's math bad?

Also: 290 words. Whee!



Sad now.

I think Wired left off a zero. Japan is working to build a maglev train from Tokyo to Nagoya (263 km) by 2025 costing $45 Billion.


A comparable cost for a maglev train from New York to LA (3961 km) would cost $677 Billion. Even assuming not using the lastest tech, $70 Billion seems really low to me.

You could be right, Scott. They don't source their figures.

I do see that the 30km train in Shanghai cost $1.33 billion (wikipedia's entry). Lessee, by that calculation the NYC-LA should cost just over $175 billion.

Hmm. Maybe heavy earthquake proofing makes a difference, maybe the long flat stretches across the Midwestern plains provide a cost break, or maybe Wired just screwed up.