Hyperloop One, which had claimed it could build a futuristic mode of travel to zoom people from Kansas City to St. Louis in about 20 minutes, announced four U.S. routes among the top finalists Thursday.
The cross-state route in Missouri, which might have included a stop in Columbia, is not among the winners of the Hyperloop One “Global Challenge.” The challenge entreated proposals from individuals, governments, universities and companies from around the world.
The Missouri route did advance to the finalist round that included 20 other regional routes.
Of the 10 winning routes, four are in the U.S., two in India, two in the U.K., one in Mexico and one in Canada. The routes selected will now work closely with Hyperloop One to potentially bring the technology to their regions.
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Tom Blair, an engineer with the Missouri Department of Transportation, had expressed hope this spring that Hyperloop One — which aims to hone electric propulsion technology to blast people at rapid speeds along a tubular track — would develop in Missouri. Blair called the prospect a potential game-changer for the state’s economy.
MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna expressed hope Thursday for the possibility of future discussions with the Hyperloop One team.
“MoDOT was told the Hyperloop One Global Challenge judges and engineers were impressed by the quality of the KC-St. Louis proposal and feel an opportunity exists for collaboration to further develop the potential of the corridor,” McKenna said by email. “We are excited about ... how this innovative technology could benefit the citizens and economy of Missouri in the future.”
Hyperloop One announced it selected its top finalists based on proposals that included “well-defined routes and implementation strategies, key stakeholder involvement from public and private sectors, compelling business cases and innovative and creative applications of a Hyperloop system.”
The six winning North American routes are:
▪ Mexico City-Guadalajara