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Tube Train Coming To Chicago?

(CBS) -- The man behind Tesla and SpaceX may become the brains behind a new transport system linking Chicago's Loop with O'Hare International Airport.

Elon Musk's idea is something Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to know more about to re-invigorate the long dormant plan.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports.

Instead of taking the CTA's Blue Line to and from O'Hare, commuters would be shot through a super high-speed tunnel. That futuristic mode of transport, called Hyperloop, and the tunnel-drilling technology behind it, is something Emanuel wants to explore. His administration sent a team to Los Angele to talk to Musk and company about whether it might be possible here.

Musk, the founder and brains behind the electric car company Tesla, already has a team working on the project out west. He claims to have technology that would drastically cut tunnel-drilling costs, in addition to the propulsion idea behind Hyperloop.

"The opportunity for the city is endless and boundless," Emanuel says.

But is it realistic?  Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, isn't convinced.

He says the city should focus on improving the existing Metra line to the airport by extending it beyond its current stop at a far corner of O'Hare.

"You could build a new viaduct right into the international terminal that connects to that Metra line. You could work with Metra to make that train run every 15 minutes and have a 20-minute transit time.

The mayor's primary focus seems to be on the tunnel-drilling technology to possibly create a new high-speed rail route. It's not known when Musk's team will be in Chicago.


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