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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: July 18, 2018 02:39 PM
From: Representative Aaron D. Kaufer
To: All House members
Subject: Hyperloop Legislation
Pennsylvania is rich in history as it relates to transportation. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was the first of its kind, spanning just 160 miles, stretching from Carlisle to Irwin in 1940. Today, the Turnpike spans 552 miles, serves an average of 550,000 motorists a day traveling a total of 5.7 billion miles annually.
The Pennsylvania Railroad was established and headquartered in Philadelphia in 1846 and was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the United States for the first half of the 20th century. At one time, the Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest publicly traded corporation in the world, with a budget larger than that of the U.S. government and a workforce of about 250,000 people.
As new technologies and methods of transport are contemplated, Pennsylvania has a unique opportunity to once again be a leader and innovator. Sure, autonomous vehicles are changing the landscape of how we view everyday highway travel, but, at the end of the day, transportation via automobile is slow, costly, dangerous and environmentally unfriendly.
Welcome, my friends, to the Hyperloop.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation that moves freight and people quickly, safely, on-demand and direct from origin to destination. Passengers or cargo are loaded into the hyperloop vehicle and accelerate gradually up to speeds of 670 miles per hour via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. That is 2-3 times faster than high-speed rail and magnetic levitation trains, and 10-15 times faster than traditional rail. The vehicle floats above the track using magnetic levitation and glides for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. When a current is fed through the track, the pods move forward, accelerating until they reach a speed where they lift up, like a boat moving along the water, and are guided by magnets. A series of vacuum pumps remove much of the tunnel's air to the point where the atmosphere is similar to being 200,000 feet above sea level. While traditional trains are limited by friction, both against the air ahead and the ground beneath, hyperloop drastically reduces friction in both of these areas.
This resolution directs LB&FC to conduct a feasibility study that examines the potential for a hyperloop system that would run from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, with a stop in Harrisburg, as well as a northeast extension that would operate between Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The study should identify new economic and social opportunities for Pennsylvania’s companies and citizens, as the defined route previously listed could connect with the Chicago to Columbus to Pittsburgh route, or the Cleveland to Pittsburgh route, both of which are currently being studied.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution.

Introduced as HR1057