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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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Hyperloop One highlights 10 transit targets

Hyperloop One
An artist’s concept shows a Hyperloop transit tube heading toward a city skyline. (Hyperloop One Illustration)

A California startup that aims to turn tech pioneer Elon Musk’s Hyperloop rapid-transit concept into reality has chosen 10 winners in a global competition – including proposed routes stretching from Chicago to Pittsburgh, Cheyenne to Denver, Dallas to Houston and Miami to Orlando.

Other winners in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge include teams from Canada and Mexico, Britain and India – but no one from the Pacific Northwest.

Teams proposing a Seattle-to-Portland passenger line and a cargo route centered on Vancouver in British Columbia were among two dozen semifinalists in the yearlong contest that didn’t make the final cut.

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Pacific Hyperloop touts Seattle-Portland link

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

A fledgling venture called Pacific Hyperloop is kicking off its effort to win support for a high-speed transit link between Seattle and Portland, using the Hyperloop system envisioned by SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk.

The plan calls for creating a network of tubes capable of zipping passengers from the Jet City to the Rose City in 15 minutes, thanks to pods that travel at the near-supersonic speed of 760 mph.

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