Ohio bids for Virgin Hyperloop One proving grounds

Central Ohio is vying for the first segment of track where Virgin Hyperloop One will test the safety of 500 mph pods and hash out a regulatory framework, setting the standards for all the routes in the nation.

The company told the region it’s one of an undisclosed number narrowed down from 17 state and local governments that bid to land the testing and certification center, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission said.

The first track of 6 miles or longer would allow the system to get up to full speed for the first time for safety and other tests. It’s where the company could work with federal and state governments to figure out which authority would oversee hyperloop – rail, air or highways.

Construction would start in 2021. It also would later serve as the first leg of a proposed four-state Midwest route from Chicago to Pittsburgh through Columbus.