MONTREAL _ The Toronto-Montreal travel corridor has been identified as one of the strongest candidates for a hyperloop system that could cut the travel time between the cities from five hours to just 39 minutes.
The route is the only Canadian winner among 10 international entries chosen in a competition sponsored by Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One and now will be studied to determine commercial viability.
Hyperloop is a technology promoted by Tesla founder Elon Musk which would place passengers or cargo in a cylindrical vehicle which accelerates via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube, lifting above the track using magnetic levitation. The vehicles are expected to glide at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
The route proposed by the Canadian arm of U.S. engineering firm AECOM would include a stop in Ottawa. The proposal suggests a trip from Toronto to Ottawa would take 27 minutes and the Ottawa-Montreal leg would take another 12 minutes.
It says the next logical step would be to extend the hyperloop system into the U.S., west to Detroit from Windsor, Ont., and east from Quebec to Niagara Falls and Buffalo and on toward Chicago, New York and Boston.
It adds that connecting Canadian ports to an extended network could enable long-haul cargo deliveries to customers within hours instead of days.
The nine other winning entries include four in the United States, two in each of the United Kingdom and India, and one in Mexico.
Hyperloop One also announced it has struck a public-private partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation and AECOM which will begin a feasibility study for a system in that state.
One of the winners was a proposal to connect Colorado cities Cheyenne, Denver and Pueblo with commute times between any cities clocking in at under 30 minutes.