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Hello West Virginia, Goodbye Virgin Hyperloop

Meeting Agenda:

  • Badgerloop Update

  • Faster Headlines

  • High Speed Rail in India

  • Virgin Hyperloop is going to West Virginia

  • Brazos Valley Station

Faster Headlines:


Vegas-to-LA high-speed train could serve as Raiders fan pipeline

Las Vegas Review Journal

Abbott Gives Support to High-Speed Rail in a Letter to Japanese Government

The Texan

Governor's confusion about Texas high-speed rail illustrates project's complexity

Dallas Business Journal

Critics of high-speed rail project say Texas governor was misinformed

KBTX-TV

(Note: this article is just hilarious because of the title, and the pictures of the train)


Indian firms in race to build bullet train corridor

The Indian Express

Railways plans to rope in private firms to construct, operate 7 new bullet train projects: Report

ETNownNews.com

MAHSR Project Operational Plan

National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited


Hyperloop Headlines:

Virgin Hyperloop One to build certification center in West Virginia

SmartCitiesDive


Virgin Hyperloop Unveils West Virginia as the Location for the Hyperloop Certification Center

Virgin Hyperloop


Up in the Air:

Linear Air

Company Website


And Amtrak:

Wisconsin-Minnesota passenger rail project selected to receive $31.8 million federal grant

Wisconsin.Gov



From the Captain:


Last week Virgin Hyperloop made the announcement that they have selected - drum roll please - West Virginia?



Huh?




Nothing against the residents of West Virginia. I have been there and it is a beautiful scenic area with rolling mountains, incredible rivers, and some beautiful driving. Especially this time of the year.


However, what in the world is Virgin Hyperloop thinking?

  • They passed on Raleigh-Durham (my preferred choice)

  • They passed on Tampa

  • They passed on Texas

They say the certification center is to be part of a Pittsburgh to Chicago route… but this location is 150 miles southeast from Pittsburgh, in the mountains. No where near the proposed route and makes little sense.


My guess is that there is either tax money or politics involved. More likely a combination of both, which is a death blow. After all, it has everything to do with this years election. Go back to 2016 and let's remember Candidate Trump’s promise to bring jobs to coal country, which never materialized. So I am sure the Trump administration wants to throw West Virginians something...and it became a Hyperloop. I'm sure there are tax incentives involved which Virgin Hyperloop could not pass up, and Republicans can claim that they are transforming West Virginia. Supposedly it would be a win-win...not.


However, unless there is something going on that I don’t see, this new certification center will be Virgin Hyperloop’s end. There is no way to make it work. After all, the cost of building a test track is going to be incredibly expensive as huge ravens are going to need to be crossed and mountains drilled thru. Then, it is going to be extremely hard to recruit top talent who don’t have a passion for moonshine.


Unfortunately, Wisconsin knows this too well with Foxconn and the empty factory sitting outside Racine. Moreover, when you look at the political involvement in California's high speed rail project and nearly 50 years of government high speed rail projects for Amtrak...you can see how mixing politics and high speed transportation never goes anywhere, and eventually the project dies.


This choice smells of desperation. Not strategic motivation. So good luck to them.

- Mike Schlicting



Retro Travel


It is the early 1950s, and the foremost in luxury is a 44 seat propliner that can make it from New York to Chicago in just under 5 hours, which is a vast improvement from the 17 hours on the fastest train - the 21st Century Limited.


However, during this time a small little airline was flying airplanes from Chicago to Miami via Atlanta with a connecting flight to Dallas. The airline had a great reputation for service, but no one from 1950 would believe the airline would survive as it would likely be eaten up by American, Eastern, Pan Am, TWA, or United Airlines.


However only two of those mega airlines, United and American, would survive to see the year of 2020. Meanwhile that little airline, Delta, by 2020 became a Goliath serving 325 destinations worldwide with over 800 aircrafts, and worth $36 billion (pre-COVID).


..Talk about the little engine that could



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