Missouri continues to lead the way in the race for a Virgin Hyperloop One system. The state is positioning itself to win a bid to place a 12-to-15 mile test track in Missouri, with an eye to become the nexus of the futuristic transportation system.
“You won’t see another state in the country where the Speaker of the House, the Lieutenant Governor, the Director of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Economic Development Director and a bunch of legislators sit in a room for six months along with business leaders to figure out how to get a project going,” said Andrew Smith, Vice Chair of Missouri’s bipartisan Blue Ribbon Panel. “…We’ve done the work,” added Smith.
The panel’s job is to examine ways to speed up development of a hyperloop route in the state. The end goal is a magnetic track stretching from Kansas City to St. Louis, with a stop in Columbia, cutting a statewide drive of four hours down to 30 minutes.
Hyperloop One is a private company with the mission of transforming transportation through its ultra-fast Hyperloop system. The tube-based autonomous transportation system uses electric propulsion to accelerate pods that levitate slightly above the track, thanks to strategically placed magnets that create magnetic fields. Additionally, it can leverage renewable energy, such as wind, solar and kinetic energy, to operate. The system would offer on-demand service, departing stations as often as every 20 seconds.
The speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Elijah Haahr may have explained best why Missouri is suited for the project.
“Missouri has always been the jumping-off point of the exploration of new frontiers. Shortly after being acquired in the Louisiana Purchase, it was St. Charles, Missouri, where Lewis and Clark began their expedition of the new territory. The Pony Express launched in St. Joseph, Missouri, transporting mail to Sacramento. And when the automobile revolutionized the transportation movement, the contracts for the first Interstate highway system were signed in Missouri. The Spirit of St. Louis wasn’t just the name of Charles Lindbergh’s plane. It is emblematic of our state’s devotion to pushing the envelope in transportation.
Today, the goods of our nation pass through Missouri. Moving people and products faster and more efficiently is not just in our blood, it’s good for business. And so, our state is taking the lead in pushing the envelope again by investigating and perfecting this idea of the hyperloop.”