Feasibility study to examine high-speed passenger rail

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Central Ohio planners will be conducting two studies exploring a possible high-speed passenger rail that would run from Chicago to Columbus to Pittsburgh. 

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission says one study will look at the feasibility of Hyperloop technology for the corridor, the other looking at components of an environmental study of the corridor.

A look at Virgin Hyperloop One's system

“We are very excited about the prospect of a Midwest Hyperloop from Pittsburgh all the way to Chicago," said a statement from Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. "These actions by MORPC break new ground because they are integrating Hyperloop technology into a larger environmental impact study – the first time that has happened anywhere in the world.”

MORPC Executive Director William Murdock calls the study a necessary step since, he says, Hyperloop technology is coming.

The passenger or cargo vehicles would be 10-15 times faster than traditional rail, making the 360-mile trip between Chicago and Columbus in about a half-hour.

Columbus, Marysville, Lima and Union County are among those helping pay for the study.

(Photo courtesy Virgin Hyperloop One)

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