DENVER — Colorado's dream of a futuristic transportation system that would move passengers and freight at speeds of nearly 700 mph (1,126 kph) using a pod and tube system is estimated to cost about US$24 billion to build.
The state's proposed route — named one of 10 global finalists this month by the Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One — accounts for the 360 miles (579 kilometres) connecting Denver to Pueblo, Vail and Cheyenne, Wyoming, The Denver Post reported Sunday.
The routes, which include several stops, would be able to handle 45 million trips in 2040 and generate US$2 billion in revenues per year, according to the state's proposal.
Shailen Bhatt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said a study must now look at the feasibility of building and funding the project, which will not be paid for by the state.
"I've said all along the state is not going to be the pockets for this," he said. "The funding model will be key."
Hyperloop One is trying to identify the best routes for the transportation system, which would use pods lifted above a track by magnetic levitation. The pods would glide at airline speeds because of ultra-low aerodynamic drag in the tube.
Colorado is proposing a "logical first phase" of building a 40-mile (64-kilometre) track between Denver's airport and Greeley because there are fewer complications involving alignment and rights of way.
A second line would include 75 miles (121 kilometres) of track through the mountains, including a stop at Silverthorne/Dillon. The main 250-mile (402-kilometre), north-south line between Pueblo and Cheyenne would also have stops in Colorado Springs, the Denver Tech Center, Fort Collins and elsewhere.