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Black & Veatch Announces Results of First-Ever Feasibility Study of a Hyperloop in the United States, Confirms Commercial Viability of Virgin Hyperloop One Technology

  • Ground-Breaking News Highlights Missouri’s Role in the History of U.S. Transportation and Potential of Hyperloop to Transform National Economy

LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 17, 2018 — Shortly after Virgin Hyperloop One provided the first-ever testimony by a hyperloop company before a U. S. Senate Committee, Virgin Hyperloop One announced today the findings of another first – a feasibility study on the establishment of a hyperloop system in the United States at VERGE18, one of the most prominent annual sustainability-focused conferences in the world.

The independent report, authored by global infrastructure solutions company Black & Veatch, analyzes a proposed route through the I-70 corridor, the major highway traversing Missouri, and verifies the favorable safety and sustainability opportunities this new mode of transportation offers.

“We are thrilled at the results of this study,” said CEO Rob Lloyd, a keynote speaker at the inaugural session of VERGE18. “A feasibility study of this depth represents the first phase of actualization of a full-scale commercial hyperloop system, both for passengers and cargo in the United States. We are especially proud that Missouri, with its iconic status in the history of U.S. transportation as the birthplace of the highway system, could be the keystone of a nation-wide network. The resulting socio-economic benefits will have enormous regional and national impact.”

The report confirms viability of the I-70 based route through an exhaustive examination of the social impact, station locations, regulatory issues, route alignments and rights-of-way associated with a new hyperloop system that would connect Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis.

“Black & Veatch worked collaboratively with stakeholders across the region to examine the technology, constructability and the economics associated with designing and building a Missouri Hyperloop,” said Steve Edwards, Chairman and CEO of Black & Veatch. “We found this project is a case of solid engineering meeting up with Virgin Hyperloop One’s innovative vision to create a network transforming the very concept of community.”

Key findings include:

  • 80% increase in ridership demand from 16,000 to 51,000 riders per round trip
  • Savings from less time spent on the road, adding up to $410 million per year
  • Reduction in accidents along the I-70, putting up to $91 million per year back in people’s pockets
  • Travel time between Kansas City and St. Louis could be as little as 28 minutes, compared to 3 ½ hours today, and travel time for trips from either Kansas City or St. Louis to Columbia could be 15 minutes, compared to nearly 2 hours
  • The cost to take a hyperloop from St. Louis to Kansas City could be lower than the cost to drive (based on gas alone), while still cutting down the time by three hours
  • The study confirms that VHO’s linear infrastructure costs are around 40% lower than those seen in high speed rail projects around the world, while the system delivers speeds that are two to three times faster

The news follows on an historic congressional testimony of September 2018 by Virgin Hyperloop One before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the necessity of a new regulatory framework for hyperloop systems.

Two other states are currently studying hyperloop through in-depth feasibility studies—Ohio and Colorado. In addition, Ohio is also participating in the first U.S. Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) of a hyperloop system and Texas has announced its intent to start the process.

Press Assets

Virgin Hyperloop One press assets, including a video from a recent Missouri DevLoop visit, can be found here:

About Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One is the first and only company that has built a full scale hyperloop system. It is spearheading the first revolution in transportation in 100 years through the movement of freight and people safely at unprecedented speed, on-demand, and direct from origin to destination. Passengers or cargo are loaded into the hyperloop pod vehicle and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube that glides above track through magnetic levitation at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Designed to be inherently safer and more reliable than maglev or high-speed rail, travel by hyperloop has no threat of at-grade crossings (by far the leading risk posed by trains), and there are no interactions with other forms of transport or wildlife. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Virgin Hyperloop One
Marcia Christoff
Public Relations Manager
(213) 718 6279

St. Louis Regional Chamber
Andrew Smith
Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
(314) 444 1175

Kansas City Tech Council
Ryan Weber
(816) 895 2820

Black & Veatch
Patrick MacElroy
Director of External Communications
(516) 477 0914