Hyperloop feasibility study for the Great Lakes region finds that the benefits would justify the costs.
First envisioned as a high-speed alternative to other modes of transportation, the Hyperloop consists of large-scale vacuum tubes with magnetic-levitation tracks that can carry capsules with passengers and/or cargo at speeds of up to 760 mi/h.
On February 26, 2018, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) entered into a public private partnership to complete a $1.2 million feasibility study for the technical analysis and evaluation of a Chicago, Illinois to Cleveland, Ohio corridor; known as the Great Lakes Hyperloop Feasibility Study (the corridor would later be extended to Pittsburgh).
Adoption of accessible ultra high-speed transportation has several spillover benefits separate and apart from the faster travel speed. Hyperloop mobility is expected to directly affect: travel time, operating costs, safety, noise pollution, air pollution, carbon footprint, separation effect/property efficiency, interface with existing infrastructure systems (transportation, telecommunications, energy) and maintenance.
Capital costs for technology elements include categories for Capsule, Linear Infrastructure, and Stations, each of which are applied on a per-capsule, per-mile, or per-station basis. The capsule costs include the capsule fuselage, capsule power, communications, and life support systems, passenger and cargo interiors, and capsule bogies that contain the levitation, motor, and wheel equipment that enables capsule movement. The linear infrastructure costs include the tubes, pylons, levitation system, propulsion system, control, communications, and traffic management, and power supply. Station costs include the spaces and equipment that enable efficient circulation of passengers, cargo, and capsules.
The tables below summarize overall capital costs for each route segment and option. Cleveland to Chicago costs are based on the full route option, whereas a segment-level breakdown is given for the optional extensions from Cleveland to Youngstown and ultimately to Pittsburgh. All costs include a 30 percent contingency and 28 percent soft-costs factor.
Chicago-Cleveland-Pittsburgh Cost Summary by Segment (All costs in millions of 2018 US dollars)
Cleveland-Chicago NO STOPS
|Toll Road Option||Hybrid Option||Straight Line Option|
|Stations & Vehicles||$549||$549||$549|
|Guidance & Propulsion Systems||$7,912||$8,080||$6,131|
|Cost per Mile||$51.23||$48.56||$65.89|
Cleveland-Chicago w/ STOPS
|Toll Road Option||Hybrid Option|
|Stations & Vehicles||$1,013||$781|
|Guidance & Propulsion Systems||$7,912||$8,080|
|Cost per Mile||$52.64||$49.25|
Cleveland-Pittsburgh via Cranberry
|Cleveland-Youngstown Segment||Youngstown-Pittsburgh Segment||Total|
|Stations & Vehicles||$232||$456||$688|
|Guidance & Propulsion Systems||$2,315||$1,481||$3,796|
|Cost per Mile||$56.22||$67.43||$60.59|
Cleveland-Pittsburgh via Airport
|Cleveland-North Lima Segment||North Lima-Pittsburgh Segment||Total|
|Stations & Vehicles||$232||$576||$808|
|Guidance & Propulsion Systems||$2,392||$1,491||$3,883|
|Cost per Mile||$64.22|
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$25 - $30 billion (in 2018 USD)