Hyperloop for TexasJanuary 3, 2020
A global infrastructure firm, AECOM, which specializes in delivering professional services from planning, design and engineering to consulting and construction management, presented their ideas for the best ways of connecting the cities between Forth Worth and Laredo in Texas. The company partners with its clients in the public and private sectors to help them with their most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come. In this spirit, an urban planner and designer with AECOM, Steven Duong, was giving a speech on behalf of his company at the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (CAMPO) Transportation Policy Board in Austin, Texas. It is also worth mentioning that AECOM is a partner with Hyperloop One, building test track in Las Vegas and studying connection to Port of LA.
The aim of the presentation was to show everybody how greatly Texas can benefit from implementing a hyperloop solution, running along the I-35 corridor. The stops between Forth Worth and Laredo would be in Waco, Temple, Killeen, Austin and San Antonio. This route would be very attractive to people frequently travelling to work between these cities. This particular region also has significant land, sea and air ports which is an asset and in addition to that, it is mostly flat which would make it possible for the pods to reach maximum speed.
The company studies not only hyperloop but also maglev, high speed rail, guaranteed transit, and commuter rail. However, Duong said that hyperloop would provide the “highest upside” for Texas. His team was considering various factors like engineering, design, technological maturity of the options, potential cost and environmental impact. The potential cost was an especially interesting matter for CAMPO officials but Duong was not able to give them an answer, as there are no working hyperloop examples from which to draw. The timetable is another problem AECOM has to face. Their employee estimated that this Texas hyperloop could happen in the next few decades.
Nevertheless, Duong is optimistic about his project: “I think over all (Texas stakeholders) are excited about the opportunity of connecting our cities however they know there is a long road ahead and there is a lot of understanding that has to be developed about what this could potentially look like down the road”.