We first told you about Hyperloop in August 2013, describing the proposed system as a "large-scale variation on pneumatic tubes used at banks" that was said to "hold the potential of transporting people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in thirty minutes."
How is it supposed to work? "Passengers and cargo are loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube," the company maintains. "The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag."
This past January, in a post headlined "Is High-Tech Hyperloop the Solution to I-25 Traffic Jams? CDOT Hopes So," we took a longer look at the pros and cons of the idea after a CDOT plan was named one of 35 semi-finalists (out of 2,600 submissions) in the aforementioned global challenge. Department spokeswoman Amy Ford was enthusiastic about the notion, telling us that "we want to explore potential technologies and how they can transform transportation, and something like Hyperloop is on the leading edge of that. We think we have the program and the organizational nimbleness to be forward-thinking when it comes to technologies like this, and we hope that will help us — because this has the capacity to create an entirely new infrastructure. It's transformative."
The Daily Caller, a conservative website co-founded by Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, divided Mason's objections to Hyperloop One into five main categories:
1: If Anything Goes Wrong, Everybody DiesSuch concerns weren't enough to dissuade Ford, however. "We obviously want to explore a technology that has the incredibly exciting promise of being a brand-new infrastructure," she told us.
2: It's Probably Physically Impossible To Build The Hyperloop
3: Heat Would Destroy The Hyperloop’s Track
4: Hyperloop Would Be Incredibly Vulnerable To Terrorism
5: The Hyperloop Will Probably Cost WAY More Than Its Formal Estimates
The following April, Ford was just as enthusiastic about word that three Colorado-related proposals were among eleven U.S. finalists in the challenge — and the one that made the final cut is Rocky Mountain Hyperloop, which foresees a route stretching from Cheyenne to Pueblo and traveling through the Denver metro area on its main track, with an offshoot projecting into the mountain corridor, as seen in the graphic above.
A second Hyperloop graphic depicts the time savings passengers and goods traveling between Denver and Colorado Springs would achieve in comparison with other forms of transportation....
In regard to the partnership between Hyperloop One and CDOT, their joint study will examine "transportation demand, economic benefits, proposed routes and potential strategies, regulatory environments and alignment with overall CDOT high-speed travel, rail and freight plans."
Details about what that entails are expected to be revealed in the coming days. But it will take a lot longer than that to determine if CDOT made a smart bet on Hyperloop, or if the idea of traveling by tube goes down as a boondoggle on the way to transportation's next stage.