The prospect of traveling from Kansas City to St. Louis in 23 minutes recently zipped past the Show Me State.
Hyperloop One — a tech firm that created a system propelling vehicles at speeds of about 760 miles per hour — announced Thursday its four winning U.S. routes, cutting Kansas City from a list of 11 semifinalists. In addition to the four U.S. routes selected, Hyperloop announced six other winning tracks in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and India.
“Following a close assessment of the proposals by a panel of experts in infrastructure, technology and transportation, 10 teams from five countries were chosen from among hundreds of applicants,” the company wrote in a release. “Hyperloop One will commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability.”
Think of the Hyperloop system as high-speed rail travel in a vacuum. Levitated pods are propelled by electric motors through a series of interconnected tubes that create a low-pressure environment, allowing the pods to glide with limited friction at speeds that surpass air travel.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once described the technology behind Hyperloop as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.”
Coloradans hoping for a much faster option than I-25 are likely thrilled by Hyperloop’s news. The company announced that as a direct result of a bidding contest, Hyperloop, the Colorado Department of Transportation and engineering firm AECOM will enter a public-private partnership to begin a feasibility study in Colorado. The study will examine transportation demand, economic benefits and potential strategies.
The Pueblo-Denver-Cheyenne route spans 360 miles and is accessible to about 4.8 million people, according to Hyperloop.
Other U.S. routes are: Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh; Miami-Orlando; and Dallas-Houston.
|Route||Length (km)||Length (miles)||Urban Centers||Population|
Team: Midwest Connect
Team: Texas Triangle
Team: Rocky Mountain Hyperloop
Team: Miami/Orlando Hyperloop
Team: AECOM India
Team: Hyperloop India
Team: Northern Arc
|Mexico Mexico City-Guadalajara