There is more evidence Hyperloop is going mainstream. Importantly, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission; a state agency, is paying for a feasibility study on a Hyperloop.
In detail, the Commission is paying the publicly traded engineering firm AECOM (NYSE: ACM) to study the possibility of Hyperloop between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is helping to fund the study, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
The Commission operates the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76 and I-70) between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The $2 million AECOM study will examine Hyperloop’s potential effects on existing modes of transportation.
Notably, Pittsburgh is part of the Mid-Ohio Regional Commission which is examining the possibility of a Hyperloop between Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. Thus, Hyperloop lines connecting Philadelphia and Chicago are a possibility.
The Turnpike Commission is not apparently working with any Hyperloop companies. However, AECOM has worked with Virgin Hyperloop One in the past. In addition, Pittsburgh to Chicago is one of the possible Hyperloop routes, Virgin Hyperloop One is studying.
Hyperloop is Going Mainstream in Pennsylvania
The Turnpike Commission’s interest in Hyperloop demonstrates there is a mainstream interest in this technology. However, the recent collapse of the California High-Speed Rail scheme raises serious doubts about American states’ ability to build major transportation infrastructure.
On the other hand, Pennsylvania has a long history of innovative transportation projects. Highlights of the Keystone State’s transportation history include the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Pennsylvania Turnpike; America’s first Intercity superhighway, and the Pennsylvania Canal.
Uniquely, a Hyperloop running along the Pennsylvania Turnpike could form the lynchpin of a national system. For example, a portion of the Pennsylvania Turnpike includes I-70 which runs all the way from Baltimore to Central Utah. Plus, I-70 connects to I-15 which provides a direct connection to Southern California and Las Vegas.
Therefore, Pennsylvania could once again be at the forefront of American transportation. In particular, the Keystone State could take Hyperloop mainstream.