High-speed hyperloop could someday link Central Texas to major cities

(Virgin Hyperloop One photo)
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(KWTX) Waco, Temple and Killeen could someday be linked to Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio by a system of partially evacuated tubes through which passenger capsules travel at speeds as high as 700 miles an hour on a cushion of air.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council announced Wednesday that it will explore hyperloop technology for two major transportation initiatives involving Virgin Hyperloop One.

One of the systems would connect Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth and the second would link Fort Worth, Waco, the Temple-Killeen area, Austin, San Antonio and Laredo.

"The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council has proven itself as forward-thinking agency that wants to give its region a competitive edge by leveraging next-generation technology," said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One.

"Virgin Hyperloop One is excited to pursue these projects, which would transform what are now separate metropolitan areas into one economic megaregion connected by high speed transport,” Lloyd said.

The council plans to issue a request for proposals later this year for consultants to complete a Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement for a high-speed corridor that connects the three cities in the DFW Metroplex and then plans to conduct a feasibility study of extending the service through Central Texas to Laredo.

"As our region grows from 7.2 million people now up to 11.2 million by 2045, we are planning a transportation system that offers choices to our residents,” said Michael Morris, P.E., Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

"Connecting other regions in Texas through hyperloop would open up economic opportunities throughout the state."

In simple terms, a hyperloop involves construction of a tube from which air is partially evacuated, reducing wind resistance.

Passenger capsules then will travel through the partially-evacuated tube on a layer of air, something like the pucks in an air-hockey game, propelled by a fan and electromagnets installed in the walls of the tube.