Burns urges Turnpike Commission to consider Cambria County in Hyperloop feasibility study
Burns has vowed to make sure his region isn’t left behind
HARRISBURG, March 27 – Saying it would position Cambria County to benefit from the “interstate of the future,” state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, has requested that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission include a Hyperloop terminal in Cambria County as part of its feasibility study on utilizing the new technology for moving goods and people at ultra-fast speeds.
Burns said he sent a letter to the Turnpike Commission making the request after he was briefed on the potential magnitude of the cross-state Hyperloop project at the commission’s headquarters in Harrisburg.
Hyperloop is a new form of mass transit that uses pods to transport freight and passengers through specialized vacuum tubes at speeds of 600 to 700 mph. It provides the potential to move goods and people from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in as little as 30 minutes, creating an opportunity for tremendous economic development in those areas.
“Cambria County has always been limited by its lack of access to a major highway. With the Hyperloop considered the ‘interstate of the future,’ it has the potential to drastically change the economic outlook of our region,” Burns said. “Imagine traveling from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in minutes – that ability would enable Cambria County to attract businesses, such as Amazon, that ship large amounts of freight. Plus, people could live here and work almost anywhere in Pennsylvania.”
As the state Transportation Department and the Turnpike Commission consider how and where to build a Hyperloop – the world’s next superhighway – across Pennsylvania, Burns has vowed to make sure his region isn’t left behind this time.
“While the development of these new technologies is exciting, we can’t forget about our residents in the more central areas of our state, including Cambria County and State College. They can’t – and shouldn’t – be left behind.”
The feasibility study, expected to be completed by April 2020, is being conducted by AECOM, a Los Angeles-based firm that built the Hyperloop test track in 2016. The study was authorized by H.R. 1057 of 2018, which directed the Turnpike Commission, in consultation with PennDOT, to evaluate possible routes and stations for the Hyperloop, as well as its economic and infrastructure impacts.
AECOM has been involved in more than a dozen Hyperloop studies and projects globally. India, Dubai and China are beginning their Hyperloop projects and are expected to be in operation in the next five years.