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Conference in Golden to address challenges with building Hyperloop

Experts to discuss technology, environmental impact
Posted: 8:01 AM, Jul 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-08 16:33:49-04

GOLDEN, Colo. — Experts from around the world are gathering in Golden on Monday for the Global Hyperloop Conference to discuss the challenges and opportunities this sort of transportation system could bring to the world.

“It’s kind of wild and radical and there are many engineering challenges ahead, but it’s sort of more of a social, economic, and environmental challenge,” said Dave Clute, president of the Hyperloop Advanced Research Partnership (HARP).

HARP is a nonprofit that was set up to help study the Hyperloop concept and advise on all aspects of development. The conference, which will be held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden on July 8 and 9, will be divided into seminars including land use and right of way challenges, environmental impact, economic issues, safety and security.

Hyperloop has been discussed as a transit possibility in Colorado for several years. The idea gained additional traction when the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop proposal was selected as a winner in Virgin Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge in 2016. The Rocky Mountain route would connect Cheyenne, Wyoming to the Denver International Aiport, all the way to Pueblo, with a side route to Vail.

However, HARP members believe a route in the Midwest is a more viable option for the first Hyperloop in the United States.

“We’d all love to get on a Hyperloop from DIA to go skiing in 15 minutes instead of two or three hours, but the topography is definitely a challenge,” Clute said.

HARP board member Steve Cohn said he believes Denver could end up connected to a possible Interstate 70 route.

“If you think about it, if you build a segment between Midwest cities, where does it go next? It comes right out here to Denver,” he said.

For more information on the Hyperloop, listen to Jayson Luber's "Driving You Crazy" podcast on this futuristic transportation system here.