North Carolina’s Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) held an event to kick-off exploration of hyperloop as a potential approach to regional and inter-city transport. A consortium of partners including Aecom and Virgin Hyperloop One discussed findings and implications of a pre-feasibility hyperloop analysis. The report identified example hyperloop corridors that could connect Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and RDU International Airport. The North Carolina Department of Transportation also took part in the discussion.
“North Carolina Research Triangle - home to some of the country’s top companies, universities and healthcare centres - is an absolute prime location to examine hyperloop technology,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One. “There is a tremendous opportunity to further connect these regional anchors and link North Carolina’s capital area with markets to the south and the northeast using a more efficient, sustainable, and reliable form of passenger and cargo transportation.”
According to the pre-feasibility study carried out by Aecom, the introduction of a hyperloop system alongside area freeways including I-40 and NC 147 could generate significant economic and quality of life advantages for the region and for North Carolina, reducing travel time and improving road safety.
Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology proposes the transport of passengers and goods between regional cities at speeds comparable to airlines. The technology features depressurised tubes that carry on-demand passenger or cargo ‘pods’ at speeds up to 670 miles per hour, powered by magnetic-levitation. Virgin Hyperloop One is one of a number of companies developing hyperloop systesm but said that it is the only one with an at-scale test track. The track, known as ‘DevLoop’, is located outside of Las Vegas in Nevada and has been used for hundreds of test runs to date.