Hyperloop Feasibility Study Advances


    Colorado team unveils vision for Denver International Airport portal.

    Virgin Hyperloop One, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and AECOM are advancing to thesecond half of the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop feasibility study. Late last year, CDOT and Virgin Hyperloop One, working with AECOM, kicked off the hyperloop study, which will examine the technological and economic feasibility of a hyperloop transportation system in Colorado, based on an initial concept that CDOT and AECOM presented to Virgin Hyperloop One in 2016.

    “The partnership between Virgin Hyperloop One and [CDOT] is an exciting one,” said Amy Ford, chief of advanced mobility for CDOT. “We have received some very positive feedback from interested Colorado stakeholders during and following our outreach event. To me, it’s apparent that Colorado citizens are interested in the safety and mobility benefits a hyperloop system could bring to Colorado.”

    The study has developed an initial design concept for the first hyperloop portal (station) located near the Denver International Airport. The study

    Figure 1: Proposed route map for hyperloop in Colorado.

     will analyze multiple potential alignments to link this central point of connectivity across the Front Range as well as the mountain resorts (see Figure 1).

    “Colorado has it all, from booming sectors in aerospace, technology, and renewable energy to the Rockies’ natural splendor,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One. “With so many drawn to the state, hyperloop will enable efficient, fast, effortless connections that link Coloradans across city limits to work, live, and play.”

    According to Virgin Hyperloop One, hyperloop will complement existing forms of transportation and will integrate with the transport ecosystem. In a hyperloop, passengers or cargo pods accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

    Last year, Virgin Hyperloop One set a test speed record of nearly 240 mph during its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world’s first full-system hyperloop test site located in North Las Vegas, Nev.

    The hyperloop will differ from other fixed guideway modes of transportation by offering on-demand solutions and no fixed schedule. Passengers will be able to depart as soon as they arrive at a portal. The system will be dynamic, with the ability to deploy pods based on up-to-the-second data points that continually optimize departures and arrivals, the company said. The hyperloop portal will also integrate seamlessly with existing transportation modes like the RTD A line.

    “Through our partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One and the Colorado Department of Transportation, we are defining the next generation of infrastructure and transportation systems to address the shifting way people and freight need to move,” said Travis Boone, an executive vice president at AECOM. “The Rocky Mountain Hyperloop showcases how we imagine, partner, and innovate to help define mobility of the future.”

    Information provided by Virgin Hyperloop One (https://hyperloop-one.com).