Hyplerloop Midwest is determined to put Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Chicago on the forefront of transportation innovation.

Columbus is just one step closer to a high-speed magnetic rail connecting it to the neighboring cities of Pittsburgh and Chicago. Hyperloop Midwest is one of 11 high-speed transit projects proposed for areas within the U.S. It plans to connect four different Midwest states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois), making them commutable in mere minutes.

The vision of massive futuristic hyper tube transportation was originally conceptualized by inventor and technologies business titan Elon Musk. Musk wrote up a draft for his public transit vision, dubbing it “Hyper Loop Alpha”. His idea was to create routes of hyper speed tubes connecting distant cities together like San Francisco and L.A. The tubes would ferry passengers along on air bearings, floating train cars throughout the tube with the use of electromagnets. While it utilized many of the technologies that already exist today, it was still considered to be highly optimistic, a noble but unattainable dream of delusion and fantasy.

But others believed in the concept of high-speed travel.

Elon Musk had open-sourced the Hyperloop concept, allowing anyone with the guts and the capital to develop and conceive the idea themselves, opening the flood gates for wide-eyed dreamers and visionaries. Josh Geigel and Shervin Pishevar happened to be two such visionary investors. The two created Hyperloop One, previously Hyperloop Technologies, a company dedicated to making electromagnetic high-speed tubes a tangible reality.

Hyperloop One then went on to create the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, a competition that dares teams from across the world to put forth a realistic commercial and economic case for why their city or region should be considered to be the first Hyperloop transit system constructed in the world. Out of the 2,600 national and international project applicants, Hyperloop Midwest is one of 46 existing projects still in the running to become Hyperloop’s first constructed route.

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A high-speed transit system in the Midwest could have several drastic implications.

For one, it could spread out employment opportunities evenly across each state. Living in Columbus and working in Chicago on a daily basis could become a foreseeable reality. This could mean major opportunities for those that live in more rural areas, where jobs are scarce and transportation to larger cities aren’t manageable. Many of these towns go economically malnourished. With the lack of Midwestern factory jobs that were once lush in our region, unemployment now skyrockets, leading to a decline in property development, taxable income, and the inevitable underfunding of public schools.

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Hyperloop Midwest continues to slug it out in the Global Challenge, vying for the chance to be the newest high-speed transit system of the future. Maybe soon, Columbus residents will live in a world where we can day trip to see the Blue Jackets take on the Blackhawks in Chicago or the Penguins in Pittsburgh and still have time to make it back for drinks in the Arena District. Hey, it’s a simple dream, granted, but it’s an earnest one.

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