It’s not a done deal. Not even close.
But when two Hyperloop startups are competing for pretty similar routes, it sure sounds promising.
On Thursday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced it had signed agreements with regional planning authorities in Ohio and Illinois to fund a feasibility study for what could be the first US interstate Hyperloop route. The high-tech train line would use the frictionless magnetically levitated capsules to shoot passengers from Cleveland to Chicago in just 28 minutes.
According to Cleveland.com, the study could take 6 to 12 months and begin as early as March, with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) funding it to the tune of $600,000.
But HTT isn’t the only startup that wants to connect Ohio and Illinois. On Tuesday, rival company Hyperloop One and a different Ohio agency — the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission — told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette they’d soon announce more details about their plans to connect Chicago and Pittsburgh, with a stop in Columbus, Ohio.
That trip between Columbus and Chicago would reportedly take a similar 29 minutes as well, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Columbus and Cleveland are roughly 140 miles apart by car, to give you a better idea.