Could a thirty-minute trip between St. Louis and Kansas City be on its way to reality? A group from Missouri with designs on making the St. Louis-to-Kansas City corridor the first Hyperloop site in the world has completed a research trip to the Nevada desert. DevLoop, as it’s called, is the only full-scale Hyperloop test track in North America.
“Here you’ve got a track that is about five football fields long,” Missouri Hyperloop panel member Tom Dempsey said. “And in that space or in that distance, they’re able to get to about 240 mph, starting and stopping. That’s pretty impressive.”
The company doing the work, Virgin Hyperloop One, hopes the next step after two years of testing in Nevada will be to build a full-scale Hyperloop with St. Louis as one of the two hubs.
The goal, according to Josh Giegel of Virgin Hyperloop One is, “going from St. Louis to Kansas, City, actually taking it across the 70 and seeing something like this on a much longer scale and being able to take that to the world and saying, ‘Look, this is a certification facility and this is the product that’s going to change your lives.”’
Virgin Hyperloop One says the trip between St. Louis and KC would take just 30 minutes, with a stopover in Columbia taking only fifteen minutes.
Hyperloop One officials say the two years of testing has allowed them to quiet many critics. They say they are also well on their way to proving the most important thing: that the technology is safe.
Dempsey calls the technology “disruptive” and says the concept of leading the world in building such an innovative project “is worth our time.”