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Hyperloop could whisk skiers from slopes to downtown Denver, sketch shows

The proposed Hyperloop would start at DIA.
Credit: Virgin Hyperloop One
A rendering of a Virgin Hyperloop One terminal in Denver, Colo.

USA TODAY — SAN FRANCISCO — Virgin Hyperloop One, one of the companies developing high-speed transportation that would zip people and cargo in low-pressure tubes at about 200 mph, released sketches Wednesday of a passenger terminal near Denver International Airport.

But don't plan on checking in for a ride anytime soon. This is just one of the many feasibility studies Virgin Hyperloop One is conducting around the world with local transportation officials, lawmakers and builders.

The project in Colorado would offer high-speed transit north-south along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, as well as west toward the state's famed ski towns.

The rendering of the terminal shows an angular, glass-filled structure in a plaza right next to existing rail transportation. The idea is that hyperloop would handle long distances at high speeds and offer passengers the chance to connect to local transit hubs.

Many experts expect that the first operational hyperloop system — which promises to zip humans and cargo through low-pressure tunnels at around 250 mph — could appear in the Persian Gulf region given both the availability of capital and a political system that could cut through red tape.

Earlier this year, Virgin Hyperloop One announced a feasibility study with Missouri officials for a route that would traverse the state. Other studies are being conducted in Estonia-Finland, Germany and Dubai.

Former Virgin Hyperloop One co-founder Brogan BamBrogan has announced that his new company, Arrivo, is in talks with Colorado officials about a different hyperloop concept that, instead of featuring pods, would shuttle passenger cars on fast-moving skates.

Other companies pursuing variations of the gridlock-battling technology include Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Elon Musk's The Boring Company. Hyperloop was thrust into the mainstream consciousness after Musk wrote a white paper proposing the concept in 2013.

Follow USA TODAY tech writer Marco della Cava on Twitter.