Hyperloop’s first stop: DIA, as Colorado enters final leg to study feasibility of $24B transportation project
Denver to Vail in 8 minutes? Not so fast! Project is studying whether a hyperloop transportation system would work — and find financing — in Colorado.
Colorado’s futuristic Hyperloop travel system will start with a station near Denver International Airport. But where it goes from there is still to be determined, and the project is seeking public feedback, officials said Tuesday. They also are halfway done studying how to bring a vacuum-sealed tunnel to the state that would shoot pods carrying people and cargo between Fort Collins and Pueblo at speeds of up to 670 mph.
“Then there’s a remaining debate in the feasibility study that we need to work out and we need people’s views on this. Do we go north (just to Greeley) or do we go south (only to Colorado Springs)?” asked Dan Katz, head of global public policy and North American projects at Virgin Hyperloop One. “There are arguments on both sides, and right now it’s kind of a tie.”
This is still in the research phase, so don’t get your hopes up that you’ll soon be able to hop into a pod and travel from Denver to Vail in 8.4 minutes. There is much to be done, not to mention finding financing for the 360-mile route connecting DIA to Pueblo, Fort Collins and Vail. The state’s initial report put that cost at $24 billion and estimated it could ultimately handle 45 million trips in 2040 and generate $2 billion a year in revenues.
For now, the team, which includes Denver employees of engineering firm Aecom, must figure out the technical issues, such as mitigating right-of-way issues, terrain and economic viability, including whether there’s enough ridership and demand. The feasibility study could be completed by fall. Organizers also plan to solicit support from the business community and consumers. But on Tuesday, the company said the first hyperloop station for Denver would be at East 72nd Avenue and Himalaya Road, which has been discussed as a future stop on the University of Colorado A Line rail stop. And, probably, the mountain route won’t be first.
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