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Elon Musk’s NY-DC Hyperloop just took a step towards reality

Last year Elon Musk announced plans to connect Washington D.C. and New York City with a Hyperloop system that’ll get folks from one t’other in 29 minutes.

Now the space travel/automotive/solar power entrepreneur is making some significant progress towards that goal.

After receiving ‘verbal approval’ last July, Musk’s The Boring Company has received a permit for exploratory work in the District of Colombia.

The permit will allow Musk’s tunnelling firm to perform, as The Washington Post reports, “some preparatory and excavation work” in a fenced-off car park in the city’s NoMa district.

It’s not exactly permission to start boring underneath the the nation’s capital, but it’s a start.

The plans are for the route to incorporate four cities, starting in Washington D.C. stopping in Baltimore and Philadelphia before terminating in New York City.

Related: The future as told by Elon Musk

Currently the journey between the New York and Washington takes three hours by train, but Musk’s vacuum-based tech would get travel time below half an hour.

“We’re just beginning, in the mayor’s office, our conversation to get an understanding of what the general vision is for Hyperloop,” John Falcicchio said, the chief of staff for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

“We’re open to the concept of moving people around the region more efficiently.”

Musk’s initial vision for Hyperloop travel has been gifted to the open source community, with many start-up companies taking on the mantle and making plans for their own versions of the tech around the world.

Hyperloop One is the most prominent of these companies, having already reached speeds of over 200mph on its Nevada test track, while announcing plans for a network of services throughout Europe. It recently received heavy investment from Richard Branson’s Virgin.

Back in October, Branson said: “We’re incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers’ lives.”

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