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First interstate Hyperloop could connect Chicago and Cleveland

A trip could take under 30 minutes.

hyperlooptt-system-front-view

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

It's not a done deal. Not even close. 

But when two Hyperloop startups are competing for pretty similar routes, it sure sounds promising. 

On Thursday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced it had signed agreements with regional planning authorities in Ohio and Illinois to fund a feasibility study for what could be the first US interstate Hyperloop route. The high-tech train line would use the frictionless magnetically levitated capsules to shoot passengers from Cleveland to Chicago in just 28 minutes.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

According to Cleveland.com, the study could take 6 to 12 months and begin as early as March, with the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) funding it to the tune of $600,000. 

But HTT isn't the only startup that wants to connect Ohio and Illinois. On Tuesday, rival company Hyperloop One and a different Ohio agency -- the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission -- told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette they'd soon announce more details about their plans to connect Chicago and Pittsburgh, with a stop in Columbus, Ohio. 

That trip between Columbus and Chicago would reportedly take a similar 29 minutes as well, according to the Dayton Daily News.

In case you're not familiar with your midwest US geography, here's where all those cities lie: 

Google Maps/Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET

Columbus and Cleveland are roughly 140 miles apart by car, to give you a better idea.

We've asked both Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to comment on their similar routes. We'll let you know what we hear.

Hyperloop One's Devloop: A glimpse at transportation's future.

Virgin Hyperloop One: Rocketing toward reality at CES 2018.