Dallas city leaders were excited Monday to hear details about Hyperloop Texas, a new transportation method that could move people and freight as fast as 700 miles an hour.
Austin would be just 19 minutes away.
“I just wish it was already here,” said Dallas City Council Member Sandy Greyson. “To think you could get between cities in 20 minutes? I’d love that.”
Urban Planner Steven Duong with architectural consulting firm AECOM represents the Hyperloop Texas project. He visited Dallas City Hall Monday to explain the vision to city leaders.
“It is definitely possible. They built a test track out in the dessert of Nevada that proves the concept works,” Duong said. “They had the working acceleration, propulsion, brake system and software up and running to fine tune the technology.”
Hyperloop technology levitates vehicles with electric propulsion in a near vacuum tube with very little air resistance to allow extremely high speed.
“It kind of reminds me of some of the Star Wars kind of thing,” said Dallas City Council Member Ricky Callahan. “I think it’s very plausible. I think it’s something that can be done and ultimately will be done. But, it just blows me away.”
Dallas is already a key stop for a separate $12 billion high speed rail project that would make travel to Houston possible in 90 minutes. A group called Texas Central is using no public money for high speed rail and hopes to be operating by 2021. It would run at speeds of over 200 miles per hour, a third of what the Hyperloop claims.
Duong said Hyperloop could compliment high speed rail.
He had no forecast Monday for how much Hyperloop Texas would cost or who would pay for it.
But Duong said he expects it to be reality somewhere in the world around 2021, perhaps in India first, and Texas sometime after that.
“Hyperloop One recently finished another series of funding from venture capitalists out in LA, so there are clearly investors who feel this can happen and will happen and the potential benefit to both people and cities is substantial enough to make that investment,” Duong said. “We think it’s a good opportunity, now that we’ve been selected as a winner, to educate the Council.”
Members of the City Council Mobility Committee Monday said Dallas is anxious to be included.
“Big D,” said Rickey Callahan. “Big things happen here. We want one here.”