Hyperloop One representative visits our area to promote futuristic project

Hyperloop One representative visits our area to promote futuristic project

PITTSBURGH — An environmental and feasibility study is underway on the potential Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago route of the proposed Hyperloop One project.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto weighed in on the plans Wednesday.

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"Hyperloop seems to be on a little bit faster track, pun intended, so we will see what happens," Peduto said, as he expressed excitement about the futuristic prospect of a Hyperloop route.

The system relies on above-ground tubes to transport passengers in a pod at speeds up to 600 mph.

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"I mean you could by a matter of fact travel to Chicago for lunch," Peduto said.

A Hyperloop One representative was in Pittsburgh earlier this week promoting the project.

Hyperloop One reportedly plans to build the first commercial route in Mumbai, but the Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago link is high on the priority list.

Peduto wants to make sure Pittsburgh is included in development plans as well.

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"What we've talked to them about is how we can partner on the technology to create more of an industry within Pittsburgh," Peduto said. "We have numerous transportation companies within the city that are interested in being  partners with it, numerous engineering firms and and obviously our two major institutions Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh."

Hyperloop One representatives have said the tubes would likely go in the highway median or along the railroad tracks.

A full scale test system has been built for the Hyperloop in the middle of the Nevada desert, just north of Las Vegas.

Engineers have been testing the system for more than a year now and the plan is to build the first commercial route sometime after 2020.