The XP-1 hyperloop test pod is coming to Missouri and North Carolina

Virgin Hyperloop One is extending the demo unit's tour to additional cities hoping to build a tubular transport route.

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Business leaders, students and science fiction fans in two states who are working to build a hyperloop route will now have a chance to see Virgin Hyperloop One's test pod. The company has added five stops to its ongoing tour of the United States.

Both Kansas and Missouri and organizations in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina want a hyperloop route. Businesses and universities in both places want to boost economic development and reduce travel time and car accidents by building a hyperloop route.

Here are the additional dates:

New York, New York: September 27

There will be a public viewing of the XP-1 test pod at Rockefeller Plaza on September 27. The event is free and open to the public from 9 am to 9 pm  at Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. From 3:30-5:30 pm, there will be STEM discussions for children of all ages.

Columbia, Missouri: October 3-4

Next, the pod heads to Columbia, MO where it will be on display at the University of Missouri Francis Quadrangle from 12 noon on October 3 to 12 noon on October 4.   Virgin Hyperloop One engineers will host a guest lecture for the College of Engineering, where they will explain the principles behind hyperloop technology and answer student questions.

St. Louis, Missouri: October 5-7

The pod will travel to St. Louis and the 2019 American Association of State Highway and Transport Officials' annual Meeting. The pod will be on display during conference hours on October 5, 6, and 7 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand.

"Since everyone can't get out to the DevLoop test site in Nevada to see the technology for themselves, we're lucky to be able to showcase it here instead," said Andrew Smith, co-chairman of the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition and vice chair of the Missouri Hyperloop Blue Ribbon Panel.

Kansas and Missouri are angling to get their own hyperloop route that would go from St. Louis to Kansas City in less than 30 minutes. The proposal made it to the final selection round, but didn't make the final list of sites. Hyperloop One picked four winning US routes along with six other winning tracks in the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico and India.

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The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition has persevered, completing a feasibility study in late 
2018 to vet the idea of a hyperloop route along 1-70. The study concluded that building a hyperloop route would:

  • Create a savings from less time spent on the road up to $410 million per year

  • Reduce accidents along I-70, saving up to $91 million per year  

  • Reduce travel time between Kansas City and St. Louis to 28 minutes, compared to 3.5 hours today

  • Cost less than taking the trip by car 

Raleigh, North Carolina: October 11 

After St. Louis, XP-1 will be on display at the Triangle J Council of Governments' Regional Summit in Pittsboro, NC in partnership with North Carolina's Regional Transportation Alliance. The pod will be on display at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center from 9 am to 5 pm.

Research Triangle Park is also studying a hyperloop route. A pre-feasibility analysis conducted  has identified example hyperloop corridors that could  connect Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and RDU International Airport.

"Since initiating a pre-feasibility analysis in July, we've been working with the VHO team to advance further conversations on the potential of hyperloop technology in the Research Triangle," said Joe Milazzo II, PE, executive director, Regional Transportation Alliance. 

Washington, D.C.: October 16

For its last stop in the U.S., XP-1 will be on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 

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