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Elon Musk will bid to build high-speed O’Hare-Loop tunnel

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017

* Reuters

Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said on Tuesday The Boring Company will compete to fund, build and operate a high-speed Loop connecting O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago.

Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, recently started the Boring Company to build transport tunnels for the system, which he says would be far faster than current high-speed trains and use electromagnetic propulsion. […]

Musk is seeking to revolutionize transportation by sending passengers and cargo packed into pods through an intercity system of giant vacuum tubes known as the “hyperloop.”

When asked on Twitter to elaborate on his “high-speed loop” proposal that would link O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago, Musk tweeted, “A Loop is like a Hyperloop, but without drawing a vacuum inside the tube.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Captain - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:27 am:


  2. - DuPage - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Not likely. Too much other underground infrastructure to relocate.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    “I come to you within an idea, perhaps the greatest…ah it’s not for you. It’s more of a “Shelbyville” idea.”

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    This could work if they can get cheap, permanent access to existing rail lines running west from the loop to Cicero, then north to O’Hare. They could even connect directly to McCormick Place. The right of way is all or mostly in place, the problem will be getting access and removing any grade crossings to make it as fast as possible.

    But I have a feeling Musk will put his first paying customer into space before there is a fast, express connection to O’Hare.

  5. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:44 am:


    The City and CIT will consider potential corridors that are above or below surface level.

  6. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    What kills me is that you could piggyback on UP-NW and roll down the Kennedy to Ogilvie

    But! We like our roads too much to give the train any more room to grow.

  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Maybe Musk should focus on fixing all the production problems so he can deliver his cars instead of wasting time with this pipe dream.

  8. - Peters Post - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    Too much other underground infrastructure to relocate.
    A new subway tunnel was bored through downtown London several years ago coming within inches of other key infrastructure. The tunneling technology exists. Not sure about the propulsion technology.

  9. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    I love that this is proposed to be completely privately funded. Hope that’s what actually happens.

  10. - Why - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    I’m curious why a second O’Hare train is regularly talked about. Sure it will be faster than the Blue Line, but at least the Blue Line is there right now. How about the dozens of places that have no rapid transit connecting them and could really benefit from it?

  11. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    “How about the dozens of places that have no rapid transit connecting them and could really benefit from it?”

    Ask those places. This is a Chicago proposal.

  12. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    You have to realize most of Illinois is backward and economically challenged. Public transit is not at the top of their list of priorities.

  13. - NoGifts - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Fix the blue line so it travels at higher speed. Boom. Done.

  14. - FPJ - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    I find it really hard to believe that they will come up with a funding mechanism that will not require a public contribution. Beyond that, it is unfortunate that we seem to be fixated by the promise of some brand new technological fix for the mess that is our public transit and intercity rail (the latter is Musk’s Hyperloop idea), rather than proven technologies from abroad. For example, here’s an idea for serving O’Hare with express service that has additional benefits for the region and relies on off the shelf technology:

  15. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    There are large swatches of Chicago that could benefit from expansion of CTA lines. Think south of 95th street. It’s still in the city, but try to get there without a car.

  16. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:54 am:

    - NoGifts - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:39 am:

    Fix the blue line so it travels at higher speed. Boom. Done.

    Please explain this fix.

  17. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Cheryl44, building heavy rail CTA lines in depopulated areas is a great way to waste taxpayer money.

    Now a privately funded express line from ORD to Chicago’s CBD is very different.

  18. - Montrose - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    “There are large swatches of Chicago that could benefit from expansion of CTA lines. Think south of 95th street. It’s still in the city, but try to get there without a car.”

    My understanding is the CTA hopes to expand the red line south of 95th. I don’t know that there is any timetable attached to it. I don’t think it is an either or proposition. Or it shouldn’t be.

  19. - Puddintaine - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    There was a skit on SNL called Johnny Canal. It would have a better chance of coming to life.

  20. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Montrose is correct. And this proposal is to be privately financed.

  21. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Anon.10:49 makes a good point. Musk might think about fixing serious production problems in his car company before taking on new lines of business. Further, for someone who wants no public funds, his two current businesses are somewhat dependent on Fed tax credits or satellite payloads.His stuff also isn’t the most reliable.

    No thanks to Valley Vaporware drilling huge holes under the City.

  22. - City Zen - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==Cheryl44, building heavy rail CTA lines in depopulated areas is a great way to waste taxpayer money.==

    Ron, Cheryl44 is right. The far South Side is extremely undeserved. The proposed gray line could be a reasonable solution to fill this transportation gap and perhaps revitalize neighborhoods.

  23. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:51 pm:

    City Zen, the south side has lost like 400,000 people in the last 15 years, maybe more. Not sure building an expensive rail line is a good idea right now.

    Anyway the express train in question is to be privately funded.

  24. - FPJ - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    ==Anyway the express train in question is to be privately funded.==

    Hopefully that is what is really in the details / terms and conditions. In the case of the (now-dead?) Illiana Tollway, it was going to be a Private Public Partnership in which all of the possible profit was to accrue to private company, but all of the risk was carried by the public….

  25. - kibbit - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    === the south side has lost like 400,000 people in the last 15 years, maybe more. Not sure building an expensive rail line is a good idea right now. ===

    Is that a chicken-egg problem or a self-fulfilling prophesy? I always get the two confused.

  26. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    The black exodus is driven by high crime and legacy racism. Most blacks are leaving Illinois entirely. I don’t blame them at all.

  27. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:06 pm:

    other Than Space X, the Musk enterprises are either moribund of burning through cash at a prodidous rate while generating losses.

    Who would buy the paper needed to finance such a Musk venture? The likelihood of default is massive.

    It would be a poor choice of business partner for the City if they actually want the project completed.

  28. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    I bet Elon gets it built, but then goes BK like most of his companies will eventually. The CTA can buy it for $0.01 on the $1.00.

  29. - Iamthepita - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 5:23 pm:

    I’m curious to see how he intends to accomplish this with his anti-union stance…

  30. - DuPage - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 6:58 pm:

    6 words, Seattle, Big Bertha, steel pipe, debacle.

  31. - Skepti Cal - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Privately financed means, unlike CTA or the Kennedy Expwy, this thing has to make money. Fares have to be less than a taxi/rideshare. Has to run every 15 minutes. “Excess revenue” to be shared with the City. This has a Peotone whiff to it.

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