New York City

Tube Would Take Passengers From NYC to DC in About 20 Minutes, Tech Company Says

A concept first proposed by Elon Musk would transport people at more than 700 mph

What to Know

  • It would take a little more than 20 minutes to travel from NYC to Washington via the Hyperloop One tube
  • People would travel in pods at more than 700 mph
  • More than 83 million people could benefit from a Hyperloop route between the two cities, the company said

A technology company has unveiled a plan for a high-speed tube that could shuttle passengers from New York City to Washington, D.C. in about the time it takes to get from Midtown to Lower Manhattan.

Executives from the California tech company Hyperloop One said at an event Thursday at the Newseum in Washington that they plan to connect 80 percent of the country via electromagnetic tubes, allowing for high-speed travel.

The concept was first proposed in 2013 by Elon Musk, the founder of the electric car company Tesla and the private spacecraft company SpaceX.

Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar said the company plans to be able to move people and cargo ultra-quickly.

"Connecting the entire nation within 5 hours of each other, cities become metro stops," he said.

Passengers traveling via tube would board magnetically levitating pods moved by electric propulsion. Hyperloop One is aiming for pods to travel more than 700 mph, making any cross-country trip possible within 5 hours.

It currently takes Amtrak’s Acela Express a little more than 3 hours to get from Penn Station to Union Station in Washington.

Hyperloop One's goal is to begin moving cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021.

More than 83 million people could benefit from a Hyperloop route between D.C and New York City, the company said.

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the idea may seem out there now, but every mode of transportation was once just a dream.

"The airplane was pie in the sky and the car was pie in the sky," Foxx said.

Former D.C. Department of Transportation head Gabe Klein said he thinks it will actually happen.

"I think it's going to become a reality," he said. "I think it may take longer than people think to get through all the right-of-way clearances and the sort of government regulations. But I think we are in for a sea change in terms of long-haul transportation."

On Thursday, Hyperloop One revealed the 11 finalists of its Global Challenge, which called for groups to submit proposals for Hyperloop systems in their region. The longest proposed route spans four states, from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Houston, Texas.

The company recently finished building a 1,640-foot-long test tube in the desert outside Las Vegas.

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