Missouri has moved one step closer to making the idea of an ultra-high speed route linking Kansas City to Columbia and St. Louis a reality, as an official feasibility study has begun for a proposed Virgin Hyperloop One route.
The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition announced the study, which will take 6 to 9 months. The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition is comprised of MoDOT, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the KC Tech Council, the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia.
“The Hyperloop study for Missouri is one of the first. Nobody has done this,” said Drew Thompson, director of data center/mission critical facility solutions for Black & Veatch, which will conduct the study. “It’s going to look at routing, infrastructure requirements, the environmental impact, locations and connections.”
The study also will analyze the potential economic impact and develop a construction cost estimate and recommendations on how to pay for it. The Missouri Department of Transportation first proposed the Missouri route along Interstate 70 three years ago.
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.
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