How Far-Fetched Is This Columbus Hyperloop, Anyway?

Penney Vanderbilt and KC Jones: All About Railroads


Researchers are hard at work on two feasibility studies for hyperloop connections running through Ohio, including a route that could link Pittsburgh and Chicago with Columbus. There’s a strong current of optimism among many considering the technology, even if questions of cost and practicality remain out of reach.

Hyperloop evangelists bill the technology as the next evolution in transportation—able to move people and cargo at nearly the speed of sound. It’s half train, half plane, but—the argument goes—more than the sum of its parts.

The promise of moving hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes through a tube has many local leaders dreaming of hyperloop stations in their backyards—and Columbus is no different.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, or MORPC, is pouring about $2.5 million into studying a potential hyperloop route connecting Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago. Thea Walsh, who handles transportation projects for MORPC, explains they’re considering more traditional rail service as well.

“I mean, certainly we’re…

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