Virgin Hyperloop One test pod parked on the DevLoop test track. Image courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop One.

Will the Virgin Hyperloop One eventually connect Pittsburgh to Columbus and Chicago at lightning speed?

Columbus Underground reports that an XP-1 Hyperloop pod was unveiled last week during a ceremony in Columbus, as part of a series of events promoting “futuristic technology and the possibility that Columbus could be involved in its inaugural line.”

What does this mean for Pittsburgh?

Last summer, we reported that the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission was pursuing feasibility and environmental impact studies to explore the use of either traditional passenger rail or Virgin’s Hyperloop One technology to connect Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago.

Now Virgin Hyperloop One is displaying their XP-1 Hyperloop at various locations in Ohio this week, and calling the events the first stop in a national “roadshow,” according to Columbus Underground.

The next major step? Virgin needs to build a $500 million track more than seven miles long to test passenger pods and develop a switching system so multiple pods can travel safely at super-high speeds. No word yet on when or where that would be built, but Virgin Hyperloop One’s CEO Jay Walder was said to be meeting with state officials and business leaders in Columbus last week.

Read the full story here.

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The Associated Press. Find a selection of her work at