Panel to study possibility of Hyperloop system from Kansas City to St. Louis

A new study says a hyperloop system from Kansas City to St. Louis in less than a half hour is not only safe and sustainable, it's also feasible. Photo courtesy Virgin Hyperloop One.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri elected officials and business leaders are teaming up to study the possibility of connecting Kansas City and St. Louis with an ultra-high-speed Hyperloop system.

Republican House Speaker Elijah Haahr announced the formation of the panel Tuesday. He said he wants members to present findings by September.

Hyperloop technology involves a tubular track through which a train-like pod carries passengers at speeds up to 640 mph.

It’s not cheap. Some estimates have put the cost at $25 million to $27 million per mile, excluding land acquisition.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe will lead the group. Other members include state lawmakers, Economic Development Director Rob Dixon, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and Andrew Smith of the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

A study last year determined a Missouri hyperloop is feasible.

That study and report, which was conducted by Overland Park-based Black and Veatch in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One, analyzed a hyperloop route along Interstate 70, connecting Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.

Black and Veatch examined the technology, construction and economics of the project and found that it’s feasible for the state.

The study found that the travel time between KC and STL would be just 28 minutes, compared to the nearly 4 hours required to drive. Trips to Columbia from either city would be just 15 minutes.

But the report did not release specific details about how much it would cost to build the Missouri hyperloop.

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