Colorado Springs Wants to Be the Home of the First American Hyperloop

The concept for the modern hyperloop, a high-speed tube-transport sytem, may have first been proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, but who completes the first functional hyperloop remains to be seen.

Hyperloop One, an LA-based startup, revealed back in April that it was considering 11 U.S. hyperloop corridors, submitted by people from various regions across the country. Three of the routes were in Colorado alone.

So it make sense that last week, civic leaders in Colorado Springs, Colorado announced their intent to play Switzerland when it formed the Hyperloop Advanced Research Partnership, or HARP, which identifies itself as a non-profit grade group. It announced with its formation it had formal support from several local leaders in Colorado, including Doug Lamborn, a Republican member of Congress.

“With this letter, the Pikes Peak region becomes the first in the nation to sign written support for commercial Hyperloop development,” declares a press release. “This letter encourages active research, development, construction, and investment from tube transportation companies to prove out the economic value of such technology along the front range.”

No specific plans are yet in place for such development, but a statement like this is a good start. In the statement, the Pikes Peak regional leaders said they will be holding a community meeting August 16 to discuss the construction of a hyperloop test track that would be open to the public.

Like we said, Colorado recently saw three different hyperloop routes accepted into Hyperloop One’s USA competition of sorts — there was also a competition for India and a competition for Europe — to determine which U.S. region would win the grandest prize in all the transportation world: a feasibility study. Hyperloop One, who created a news cycle out of the events, also benefited from the publicity.

Below are maps of the three routes revealed in April at a Hyperloop One event in Washington, D.C.:

The longest of the 11 routes picked as "finalists" by Hyperloop One, this 1,152 route connecting Cheyenne, Wyoming to Houston.

Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado, which a route to the ski town of Vail.

This route is a straight shot from Cheyenne to Pueblo.

Tracy Hughes a member of the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Consortium was in D.C. that day, pitching a route from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Houston, when asked about the three teams from Colorado.

“It’s more competition than friendly,” Hughes told Inverse then.

“We think we’ve got a pretty good case,” said Travis Boone and engineer at Aecom and a member of the similarly named but definitely different Rocky Mountain Hyperloop. His group has the official backing of the Colorado Department of Transportation and its director, Shailen Bhatt, who was also in D.C. Bhatt said the group’s plan, and more broadly, Colorado, is “uniquely positioned” for the super-fast tube transport.

Meanwhile, Blake Annenberg of the Colorado Hyperloop, visibly the most junior team in attendance, said: “We’re just happy to be here.” His team was proposing a relatively modest “front range” route through Colorado (although it does have a dedicated subreddit).

While Colorado Springs isn’t claiming to play favorites in its letter, you would think city leaders would prefer the hyperloop route that stopped there.

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