Where do you go to build big, bold new things? If you’re Hyperloop, you go to places with people known for making things. “Places that have had dreams, and that have made them.”
Hyperloop announced this week that it has signed agreements with local transportation agencies in Ohio and Illinois to begin a feasibility study for connecting the cities with the system, which would shoot specially built cars through a tube at over 700 mph.
The system would create a Chicago to Cleveland trip in under 30 minutes, the company claims. Getting from Chicago to Cleveland by airplane right now takes a little over an hour, not counting time spent getting to the airport (which if you’re going to O’Hare from downtown Chicago can take nearly another hour). Driving between the two Midwestern cities takes more than 8 hours, There is no easy rail route.
While the audacious proposal is a testament to private-sector initiative, the government’s going to have to be on board, Hyperloop officials acknowledge.
“Regulations are the ultimate barrier for Hyperloop implementation, and we are excited to build the first real public-private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the US,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. “With this agreement, we welcome innovative and industry-leading partners in both government and industry to our movement.”
“We came here because places like Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh have the manufacturing, the raw materials and the talented, hard working people in order to make it happen,” added Andrea La Mendola Chief Global Operations Officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. “We can source everything from this area. This is a place where you make big things.”
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is one of two companies working on putting the hyperloop technology into use. Another, Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One, also has an Ohio to Chicago route in mind, going from Pittsburgh, Pa., through Columbus, Ohio and on to Chicago. Virgin on Tuesday announced it has a deal in place to build its first operating hyperloop system, in India.