Musk to build underground high-speed rail connecting Chicago's loop and O'Hare

It's been the dream of Chicago's city government under several recent mayors to bypass the gridlocked loop traffic by building a high-speed rail system to O'Hare Airport.

Now it appears that the first steps to achieve that goal are being taken.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced that a proposal is being negotiated with tech billionaire Elon Musks's Boring Company and the city government.

There is no timeline and no cost estimates for the project, but Boring Company will finance the entire project.

Chicago Tribune:

Emanuel's administration has selected Musk's company from four competing bids to provide high-speed transportation between downtown and the airport.  Negotiations between the two parties will ensue in hopes of reaching a final deal to provide a long-sought-after alternative to Chicago's traffic gridlock and slower "L" trains.

In choosing Boring, Emanuel and senior City Hall officials are counting on Musk's highly touted but still unproven tunneling technology over the more traditional high-speed rail option that until recently had been envisioned as the answer to speeding up the commute between the city's central business district and one of the world's busiest airports. ...

Musk and Emanuel are expected to formally announce the proposal Thursday afternoon at that long-dormant underground station.

Considering that a cab ride from the loop to O'Hare averages about $40 plus tip, the economics of the project actually makes sense.  But can Musk offset the massive costs of construction and make any money?

He obviously thinks so.  While hotel occupancy rates in Chicago have been falling in recent years, a relatively cheap and faster means of getting to and from O'Hare Airport would be a boon to downtown hotels. 

But with no timeline for completion and no cost estimates, the feasibility of the project is still in doubt.  Musk's tunneling technology is still unproven and may end up being unworkable when applied to such a massive project.

Still, I wouldn't bet against a man who is revolutionizing the private space industry, is building commercially viable electric cars, and envisions trains riding on a cushion of air between New York and Washington.

It's been the dream of Chicago's city government under several recent mayors to bypass the gridlocked loop traffic by building a high-speed rail system to O'Hare Airport.

Now it appears that the first steps to achieve that goal are being taken.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced that a proposal is being negotiated with tech billionaire Elon Musks's Boring Company and the city government.

There is no timeline and no cost estimates for the project, but Boring Company will finance the entire project.

Chicago Tribune:

Emanuel's administration has selected Musk's company from four competing bids to provide high-speed transportation between downtown and the airport.  Negotiations between the two parties will ensue in hopes of reaching a final deal to provide a long-sought-after alternative to Chicago's traffic gridlock and slower "L" trains.

In choosing Boring, Emanuel and senior City Hall officials are counting on Musk's highly touted but still unproven tunneling technology over the more traditional high-speed rail option that until recently had been envisioned as the answer to speeding up the commute between the city's central business district and one of the world's busiest airports. ...

Musk and Emanuel are expected to formally announce the proposal Thursday afternoon at that long-dormant underground station.

Considering that a cab ride from the loop to O'Hare averages about $40 plus tip, the economics of the project actually makes sense.  But can Musk offset the massive costs of construction and make any money?

He obviously thinks so.  While hotel occupancy rates in Chicago have been falling in recent years, a relatively cheap and faster means of getting to and from O'Hare Airport would be a boon to downtown hotels. 

But with no timeline for completion and no cost estimates, the feasibility of the project is still in doubt.  Musk's tunneling technology is still unproven and may end up being unworkable when applied to such a massive project.

Still, I wouldn't bet against a man who is revolutionizing the private space industry, is building commercially viable electric cars, and envisions trains riding on a cushion of air between New York and Washington.