Group announces feasibility study for proposed Missouri Hyperloop

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A partnership of public and private institutions in Missouri will launch a feasibility study for a high-speed Hyperloop route along Interstate 70 connecting St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City.

The Hyperloop system uses electric propulsion to send a train-like pod through a low-pressure tubular track at high speed. The pods, which could carry either passengers or cargo, would travel up to 640 miles per hour, cutting the trip from St. Louis to Kansas City down to just 31 minutes.

Missouri did not initially make the cut for the top 10 potential sites for the Hyperloop. However, an official from Virgin Hyperloop One, the company working to make the high-speed transportation a reality, said in October that after completing a $1.5 million feasibility study, Missouri would be among the top five contenders for a track, possibly even in the top three.

The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition announced Tuesday the study would examine the technical feasibility of the project, as well as the potential economic benefit for St. Louis, Columbia, and Kansas City.

Another question the feasibility study would answer is the cost of production. Officials in Colorado, another contender for a Hyperloop system, proposed a 360-mile route with a $24 billion price tag.

The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition is made up of the Missouri Department of Transportation, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, the KC Tech Council, the University of Missouri System, and the Missouri Innovation Center in Columbia.

Black and Veatch, an infrastructure firm headquartered in Kansas City, will conduct the feasibility study along with Virgin Hyperloop One and the University of Missouri System.