Chicago South Hyperloop (No. 001)


Photo: Hyperloop Transport Technologies

The other morning I saw a fascinating news story. I immediately translated it into a project I was exploring to bring high speed rail travel between Louisville, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois. Highlights of the story :

Imagine Paris to Marseille in just 40 minutes, or Paris to Rome in just over one hour. French rail chiefs believe it’s not just a pie in the sky idea.

Hyperloop One startup, intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes, announced Tuesday that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers.

Hyperloop One said that it raised $80 million in fresh funding from an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France’s SNCF.

The overwhelming response we’ve had already confirms what we’ve always known, that Hyperloop One is at the forefront of a movement to solve one of the planet’s most pressing problems,” Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar said.

The brightest minds are coming together at the right time to eliminate the distances and borders that separate economies and cultures.”

 

With Hyperloop’s average speed of 603miles/hour or 970km/hour, imagine all the cities in France being within an hour’s travelling time from Paris. Paris to Marseille for example could take as little as 40 minutes – the time spent by many commuters on the Paris Metro each morning. A trip to Rome on the Hyperloop would also be little over an hour away and Berlin would be 55 minutes according to very, very early guesstimates.

Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded Hyperloop One, originally named Hyperloop Technologies, in 2013 to make real Elon Musk’s well-researched vision of a lightning-fast transport system with the potential to transform how people live. Hyperloop One plans a demonstration in the desert outside Las Vegas to show what it has accomplished so far. BamBrogan also promised a “full-scaled, full-speed” demo by the end of the year.

Hyperloop One is so confident in the speed at which the project is moving that it announced a global challenge in which businesses, governments, citizens, academics and others can submit proposals for where the systems should be built. “Just like an Olympics bidding process, we want to understand the great ideas in the world and then extract the best one,” Hyperloop One chief executive Rob Lloyd said.

See more on this original announcement.

Now more on my involvement with high-speed rail and Louisville.

Working with JWH Financial Services LLC. I plan to respond to the US Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration who has issued an RFP to « Finance, design, operate, construct, maintain a high speed rail system ». Congressional laws require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to “issue a request for proposals for projects for the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of a high-speed passenger rail system operating within a high-speed rail corridor.”

The “catch” is that no Federal funding will be available. BUT in the past year All Aboard Florida IS constructing a high-speed rail network in Florida WITHOUT US Government funding. This step will provide publicity, especially if “the Department of Transportation MAY establish commissions to further review and develop proposals.”

In the « suggested corridors » from the FRA RFP I find they are interested in a corridor from Chicago to Indianapolis then to Louisville and Cincinnati. Looking at a map, it makes sense, but do we have any expertise in Cincinnati area ?

So now we give birth to CHICAGO SOUTH HYPERLOOP !

Anybody building into Chicago will have a big problem in finding space. As a sensible alternative, We are suggesting that the new railroad start instead at the Gary/Chicago International Airport. It is already served by the “South Shore” railroad which has a great terminal in downtown Chicago. Gary Airport is receiving Federal funding from Dept. of Transportation and South Shore railroad is receiving State/local funding for expansion.

Yes, things are starting to move on this project. On May 11, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop dream takes a step towards reality with first public propulsion test.

Based on a suggestion by James W. Stokes, Jr., we are investigating locating the transit line between Gary, Indiana and Louisville, KY in the median strip on Interstate 65.

Give us YOUR suggestions and Ideas

Written by Ken Kinlock kenkinlock@gmail.com

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