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Is a trip from Cleveland to Chicago in under 30 minutes feasible? This plan could make it happen

Posted at 6:37 AM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 10:04:36-05

Imagine traveling from Cleveland to Chicago in just 28 minutes.

A technology called Hyperloop technology may be the answer for the way residents in the two cities travel back and forth. To make it happen, the Northeast Ohio Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) have raised $1.2 million to finance a feasibility study, which will take six to nine months to complete.

RELATED: Cleveland to Chicago in 30 minutes? This proposed high-speed tunnel could be a game-changer

HTT last week signed official agreements with NOACA and Illinois' Department of Transportation (IDOT) to begin a feasibility study for the region. Several corridors have been identified for the study connecting Cleveland to Chicago.

Hyperloop involves essentially a train in a low-pressure tube with each car carrying 28 to 40 people using a passive magnetic levitation system to reach speeds over 700 mph.

The large tubes carrying the roughly 100-foot long pods would be built primarily on pylons. The system would not only be green but would actually produce more energy than it would use allowing it to keep operational costs and eventually tickets low.

Cars could depart every 40 seconds with the system eventually able to carry 164,00 passengers a day.

In a release, HTT said support for their Hyperloop system has been widespread throughout the region with Ohio's legislature passing a resolution for the initiative in 2017. 

In January, HTT worked alongside a bipartisan group of congressional representatives from several states including, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin sent a formal letter to President Donald Trump requesting infrastructure funding support to develop the system.

As part of this growing movement, HTT said they have formed a regional consortium around the project to include a multitude of other prominent organizations. An event is scheduled for February 26 in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Science Center where additional details will be revealed along with the growing list of consortium members.

"Regulations are the ultimate barrier for Hyperloop implementation, and we are excited to build the first real public-private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the US," said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT said in the release. "With this agreement, we welcome innovative and industry-leading partners in both government and industry to our movement."

"It's quite amazing to see how many partners Hyperloop Transportation Technology already has in the development of the Hyperloop," said Grace Gallucci, Executive Director of NOACA. "And they have been developing these partnerships across the spectrum: They have partnerships with academic institutions, with government institutions, with the private sector."

"We came here because places like Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh have the manufacturing, the raw materials and the talented, hard-working people in order to make it happen," said Andrea La Mendola Chief Global Operations Officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. 

"We can source everything from this area. This is a place where you make big things."