Can Elon Musk’s company really build Chicago’s high-speed Loop?

Elon Musk company to build Chicago-to-O’Hare express transport speeds up to 150 mph	 	 	 			Courtesy The Boring Company

Elon Musk company to build Chicago-to-O’Hare express transport speeds up to 150 mph Courtesy The Boring Company

The company says on its website that each vehicle will carry eight to 16 people and travel at speeds of 125 to 150 miles per hour (200 to 240 kph). Emmanuel's goal is to transport travelers from the airport to Chicago's center in 20 minutes or fewer, and at roughly a third of the cost of an expensive taxi or ride-sharing app.

"Bringing Chicago's economic engines closer together will keep the city on the cutting edge of progress, create thousands of good-paying jobs and strengthen our great city for future generations", Mayor Emanuel said in a statement provided to Mashable.

The new rail line, or Chicago Express Loop, will see 12-minute trips in electric vehicles called "skates", from the airport's new terminals to the Block 37 super-station downtown.

It will link downtown Chicago with O'Hare International Airport.

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The system would take the form of an underground tunnel system, with electric-powered pods carrying up to 16 passengers on trips that take as little as 12 minutes (compared with the 40 minutes or more required for a $5 trip on Chicago's "L" trains).

The Boring Company, the tunneling venture led by Elon Musk that seeks to build underground pathways that would house high-speed autonomous transit, landed a big win in Chicago on Wednesday night. According to the Chicago Sun Times, The Boring Company says it can install the whole thing, including the new airport station and Block 37 renovation, for under $1 billion. And Boring's technology is good enough that officials in Los Angeles and Baltimore recently have signed off on initial projects that could lead to much bigger efforts, such as a vacuum tube "hyperloop" from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., and eventually NY.

Specific details about the project are unclear at this point, but The Boring Company does say that it will be 100% privately funded.

According to the Boring Company, the skates would have Wi-Fi and be large enough to hold passengers and cargo.

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Musk is banking on being able to tunnel much faster than any other company, although his technology remains unproven. "Given his track record, we are taking his reputation and saying, 'This is a guy in two other transportation modes who has not failed.' That's what we're doing". Unlike the Hyperloop, a vacuum-sealed tube being built out by companies such as Virgin Hyperloop One and theoretically capable of speeds up to 600 miles per hour, the Chicago project will be designed with conventional tunnels at much slower speeds.

The Boring Co has been promoting its plans for Hyperloop tunnels that would allow high-speed travel between cities, such as travel from NY to Washington in less than 30 minutes. While where is no official timeline for the project or an estimated cost, the Tribune cited a source who estimated price as less than $1 billion.

Musk unveiled a plan last month in Los Angeles to build tunnels beneath the city for a high-speed network of "personalized mass transit", promising to build it without disturbance or noise at the surface.

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