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Pacific Hyperloop keeps chugging along

An artist’s concept shows a Hyperloop pod parked at a transit station. (Hyperloop One Illustration)

Pacific Hyperloop is moving ahead with its concept for tube travel between Seattle and Portland, in hopes of riding in the slipstream of the Pacific Northwest’s growing interest in ultra-high-speed transit.

“If Seattle and Portland were just 20 minutes apart, what could we accomplish together?” Charlie Swan, a University of Washington senior who’s Pacific Hyperloop’s co-founder and regional engagement manager, said on Saturday during the TEDxSeattle 2017 conference.

Swan said sending magnetically levitating pods between the two cities would help knit together the region, resulting in a “type of human interaction like the world has never seen before.”

But turning that vision into reality isn’t totally up to Pacific Hyperloop, which Swan says currently consists of a five-person team. Estimates suggest that it’d take somewhere between $24 billion and $42 billion to create an ultra-high-speed system connecting Seattle and Portland as well as Vancouver, B.C. to the north.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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