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NYC to D.C. in 29 minutes? Elon Musk tweets hyperloop given verbal, government approval

Aaron Aupperlee
| Thursday, July 20, 2017, 12:06 p.m.
An image released by Tesla Motors,  is a conceptual design rendering of the Hyperloop passenger transport capsule. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 unveiled a concept for a transport system he says would make the nearly 400-mile trip in half the time it takes an airplane. The 'Hyperloop' system would use a large tube with capsules inside that would float on air, traveling at over 700 miles per hour. (AP Photo/Tesla Motors)
An image released by Tesla Motors, is a conceptual design rendering of the Hyperloop passenger transport capsule. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 unveiled a concept for a transport system he says would make the nearly 400-mile trip in half the time it takes an airplane. The 'Hyperloop' system would use a large tube with capsules inside that would float on air, traveling at over 700 miles per hour. (AP Photo/Tesla Motors)

Getting from New York City to Washington D.C. in under a half hour perhaps got a step closer Thursday.

That's if you believe what Elon Musk tweets.

Musk, the billionaire behind SpaceX, Tesla and super fast, super smooth transportation via hyperloop technology, tweeted that his Boring Company, which digs tunnels, received verbal government approval to build a hyperloop between the two cities.

The hyperloop would cut the nearly three-hour train ride or more than four-hour car ride down to a mere 29 minutes and include stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Hyperloop technology works by sending sleek pods through depressurized tubes. The pods levitate, creating near frictionless travel and making incredible speeds, like 700 mph, possible.

The technology is still being developed and has not been tested on a large scale yet. A team from Carnegie Mellon University is among the leaders in development of a hyperloop pod prototype.

Pittsburgh is hoping to be part of a different hyperloop route. Hyperloop Midwest is an entry in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission that proposes a connecting Pittsburgh to Chicago via a hyperloop with a stop in Columbus, Ohio, William Murdock, the executive director of the planning commission, told the Tribune-Review in April. The Pittsburgh to Chicago trip would take about 45 minutes. Pittsburgh to Columbus would take about 15 minutes.

Hyperloop Midwest is a finalist in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which would provide funding to the winning project.

"We're anxious to show that Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago is that route," Murdock said when Hyperloop Midwest was named one of the 12 finalists.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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