The chance to travel from Kansas City to St. Louis in 30 minutes has been renewed, despite news last month that Missouri didn’t make the cut in an international contest for a Hyperloop track.
The Missouri Department of Transportation , the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the KC Tech Council, the University of Missouri System and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia announced Tuesday the formation of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition. The coalition is a public-private partnership that will work to advance the effort to construct a Hyperloop route linking Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis along Interstate 70.
Because of state budget concerns, the coalition will seek money from private sources to fund the next step in the proposal.
The Kansas City to St. Louis route was a finalist in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, but didn’t make the cut to the final 10. Hyperloop One is a company exploring the possibility and feasibility of high-speed travel using what it calls Hyperloop transportation. It uses electric propulsion, low-pressure tubes and magnetic levitation to gradually accelerate a pod to “airline speeds.”
Although Missouri didn’t advance to the next stage in the challenge, Hyperloop One encouraged the state to conduct a feasibility study.
“This public-private partnership demonstrates Missouri’s commitment to building one of the first Hyperloop systems in the world,” Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One, said in a news release. “We look forward to working with the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition in continuing to develop Missouri’s Hyperloop One proposal from Kansas City to St. Louis.”
The feasibility study would cost an estimated $1.5 million, and the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition’s first step is to raise funds, according to Bill Turpin, CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia.
“We can’t tell you it will be successful, but we know for sure that if we don’t do the feasibility study, it won’t be built here,” Turpin said.
Missouri’s Hyperloop route would allow a combined 5 million residents to complete a 248-mile route that takes almost four hours by car, or 55 minutes by plane, in 31 minutes at a speed of 671 mph. The proposed route could get people from Columbia to either city in approximately 12 minutes.
“I-70 was the first interstate built in the United States, from St. Louis to Kansas City, and then they extended it from there — coast to coast,” Turpin said. “I think the same thing could happen with the Hyperloop, where this could be the first part of a transcontinental Hyperloop. It’s a great place to build the first segment, just for cost and availability reasons.”