Urban Transport

Proposed Missouri hyperloop would forge 25-minute connection across the state

Proposed Missouri hyperloop wo...
A hyperloop system across the state of Missouri would connect five million residents, according to the newly formed Missouri Hyperloop Coalition
A hyperloop system across the state of Missouri would connect five million residents, according to the newly formed Missouri Hyperloop Coalition
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The estimated trip time for a hyperloop across the state of Missouri comes in at 24.9 minutes
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The estimated trip time for a hyperloop across the state of Missouri comes in at 24.9 minutes
Hyperloop One recently unveiled a full-scale prototype of a passenger pod
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Hyperloop One recently unveiled a full-scale prototype of a passenger pod
Hyperloop One has constructed a full-scale test track in the Nevada desert
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Hyperloop One has constructed a full-scale test track in the Nevada desert
A hyperloop system across the state of Missouri would connect five million residents, according to the newly formed Missouri Hyperloop Coalition
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A hyperloop system across the state of Missouri would connect five million residents, according to the newly formed Missouri Hyperloop Coalition

It might still seem utterly futuristic and the technology is still really to be proven, but more and more government bodies around the world are getting behind the idea of a hyperloop. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MDOT) is the latest to latch onto the idea of supersonic tube travel, heading up a coalition of public-private partners to push for the construction of a hyperloop that would allow for a 25-minute trip across the length of the state.

To travel from Kansas City on Missouri's western border to St Louis on its eastern frontier currently takes just under four hours by car along the I-70 interstate highway. A hyperloop system connecting the two cities, via the central city of Columbia, would make it entirely possible to live in one and work, study and play in the other, with the estimated trip time coming in at 24.9 minutes.

That is still a ways off, but the proposal first made two years ago by MDOT to transport startup Hyperloop One is starting to gain some serious attention. The newly announced Missouri Hyperloop Coalition sees the Kansas City Tech Council, the Missouri Innovation Center and the St Louis Regional Chamber of commerce get behind the idea and now looks to fund a study into its feasibility.

The estimated trip time for a hyperloop across the state of Missouri comes in at 24.9 minutes
The estimated trip time for a hyperloop across the state of Missouri comes in at 24.9 minutes

"It is clear from our conversations with Hyperloop One that they were impressed with our initial proposal," says Andrew Smith, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the St. Louis Regional Chamber. "Our proposed route connects two major metropolitan areas in the same state along with a major research university, and we have the most favorable regulatory and cost environment of any proposed build site. Hyperloop One is encouraging us to take the next step with an engineering feasibility study."

That feasibility study is expected to cost between US$1 and $1.5 million and the coalition believes that the funding will come from the business community in Missouri. It says the proposed route would connect five million residents to research facilities and businesses, and give the state a new advantage when it comes to luring new businesses and talent.

Hyperloop One has formed partnerships with a number of governments around the world to carry out feasibility studies of this nature. Possible locations include Dubai, Russia, and Finland, while the company also recently concluded its Hyperloop One Global Challenge, an XPrize-style competition setup to identify potential Hyperloop routes.

It is making some promising advances on the technological side of things, too. It has built a full-scale test track and a full-scale prototype capsule, shuttling it along at more than 300 km/h (186 mph). Given the target speed of a fully realized hyperloop is around 1,200 km/h (745 mph), there is clearly still a lot of work to do, but with more and more money pouring in from both public and private sectors the technology is certainly building up some steam.

Source: St Louis Regional Chamber

10 comments
Helios
Government funding of this is beyond absurd. There is nothing in this "technology" that can be remotely supported by a government to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It is the pipe dream of a neurotic man who apparently has never heard of, or understands the words of wisdom that the journey is more important than the destination. We live in an age where we live multiple lifetimes in wealth, standards of living, travel and more, relative to those who lived only 100 years ago. We need to relearn how to slow down and savor life and every minute. Elon Musk is like every villain in a James Bond movie, the mad genious for whom the world is not enough and this villain can't get it fast enough.
Rocket
Helios.....go put your head back in the sand where it belongs!
Joshua Tulberg
I don't know which is more silly, government funding for Hyperloop (it has been debunked by many scientific literates) or Solar Roadways (also debunked). Next we are going to see government backing of Earth-to-Earth bull$#!^. Our government should just copy Taiwan when it comes to public transportation. Bullet-trains and automated railway transport. Get with it USA.
Helios
@Rocket Spoken like a good Minion. What your argument lacks in an educated and reasoned response is only made worse by your blind and enthusiastic support of something you clearly have limited understanding. Boy, you sure got me though.
BrianK56
The short tracks that they have been trialing on @ 186 mph are not realistic. A true test is to build a full length test track to hit that 745 mph. Then start selling the system.
Ralf Biernacki
The idea of hyperfast transportation is alluring, and the Hyperloop is theoretically and perhaps technically viable, if enough money is thrown at it. But the elephant in the room is its safety. A seal failure of the tube would have horrifically catastrophic results. And a tube stretching for hundreds of miles through both wilderness and cities is appalingly vulnerable to tampering, by terrorists or just madmen of the sort that caused the Vegas massacre. For that reason Hyperloop <b>cannot practically be made safe</b>, except by burying the tube deep underground---but this would increase infrastructure costs by an order of magnitude. Is that the funding trap the government is being led into? Musk did acquire a tunnel-boring company recently: http://newatlas.com/elon-musk-boring-company-plan/49572/ <p> @Helios: You are of course free to live out your life by "healthy and safe" 19th century standards, savoring every minute of it. But most of us would rather savor the empowering convenience of across-the-state commuting in less than half an hour.
Helios
@Freederick I am hardly a Luddite. I do consider myself an armchair futurist and part of that is considering unintended consequences of new technology. Your observations of the safety of the Hyperloop concept is exactly one of those considerations. So, we already are capable of travel at supersonic speed. If you have the money, that option is open to you. For the masses, its 600 mph. So the marginal increase in speed to 700mph is going to cost what? No one knows. But its likely in the billions. But we can also travel at the speed of light. Its called the internet and teleconferencing. Anyone who says that sometimes its just necessary to be there in person is living by 19th Century norms of social interaction and commerce. And your suggestion that "most of us" are going to be traveling on a Hyperloop someday is ludicrous.
RewRixom
Yup https://youtu.be/RNFesa01llk?list=PLQJW3WMsx1q0js6FvjO89H62m60SoHdE6
Ralf Biernacki
@Helios: A hundred years ago the automobile was a luxury item, only for the elites. Then Henry Ford came along with the assembly line, and slashed prices down. Then a politician I won't name came up with the Volkswagen concept---car for the masses, literally. Now most of us own a car as a matter of course, and even in India or Africa cars are as common as horses used to be. The same pattern was seen with air travel: first expensive and elitist, now for the masses. Earlier, the same thing happened with railroads. There is no reason to believe that the Hyperloop won't follow the same pattern: first an expensive novelty, eventually a mundane workhorse. But I still think it can only work underground, for the reasons I gave above.
Helios
@Ralf Underground isn't economically viable then is it? The decision to build something like the Hpyerloop isn't done in a vacuum. It can't be looked at as just an engineering challenge. We have a deteriorating infrastructure in the US. The national debt is off the charts and no end in sight for continued deficit spending. 2/3 of Americans are overweight or OBESE. Legalized drug addiction is growing. (Opioids) There is a mass shooting nearly everday in the US. Jobs are disappearing and will continue with advancements in AI. Autonomous vehicles are on the horizon, completely negating the need for a Hyperloop (productivity while traveling right?) We have reached the carrying capacity of the planet when our emissions cause climate change. And every time saving device invented has not been a panacea. You have to work to pay for it. A bigger house to have a fully loaded kitchen (time saving devices). A car to commute from your home on the outskirts because it's more affordable there. On and on it goes. We chase every new shiny object in hopes it'll make our lives better, but it's really just a rabbit hole. So justify why shaving a few hours of travel time is necessary. Will it make our lives better?