Virgin Hyperloop One Testing CentreJanuary 27, 2020
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) is a council based in Columbus. Along with 16 other parties, it was vying to build a testing centre for Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO). That type of facility would need to have at least 6-mile test track, which is one of the minimum requirements.
A new technology, like a hyperloop, calls for extensive testing and knowing that, VHO requested for proposals to host the centre. Among the applicants, that remained in the game after VHO reduced the number of contestants, were Mid-Ohio planners and West Virginia University (WVU).
Although the details remain unknown, Thea Walsh, director of transportation and funding for the Mid-Ohio group, gave a hint on the place her company is considering for hosting the centre. She stated that MORPC wants to place it in north central Ohio. She believes that Ohio site has a great advantage of specializing in vehicle testing already, as there is a 400-acre Transportation Research Center in Logan County, placed roughly 40 miles northwest of Columbus. Moreover, she is certain that the project would also have a great economic impact on the whole region and that a lot of complementary businesses could be expected to open near the centre.
The agency is planning on building the route from west to east because of the topography of the region. However, the process of setting up the centre will not start until VHO states that the regional site meets minimum requirements. According to the company’s schedule, they want to begin building the facility in 2021.