One of the many competing routes for the first Hyperloop line has been proposed by a group called Hyperloop Texas. The proposal would link Houston with San Antonio and then Austin and Dallas. A cargo line would stretch from San Antonio to Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican border. The proposal is one of many that has been sent to the Hyperloop One competition being held in Washington D.C.

A Hyperloop is an enclosed tube through which pods would carry people and cargo speeding levitated over a magnetic track at speeds approaching 700 miles an hour. The tubes would stretch from destination to destination on top of a series of pylons.

The Hyperloop lines would be solar powered, so they would emit no carbon emissions and would not be dependent on fossil fuels. Supporters claim that the mode of transportation would be the most environmentally benign ever created.

Texas cities, under the Hyperloop Texas scheme, would be minutes away from one another. A trip between Houston and San Antonio would be, in theory, a half an hour instead of a three-hour car trip. Taking the line all the way between Houston and Dallas would be a two-hour journey even though it is through San Antonio and Austin as opposed to four hours direct by car. In theory, someone could get off work in Houston, have dinner at an eatery in the San Antonio Riverwalk, and still get home in time for bed.

The Hyperloop would compete with short-haul airline service, but with the bonus of avoiding commutes to and from airports as the stations would be located inside urban centers. The line would also be competitive with the direct Houston to Dallas high-speed rail line that is being privately developed but is mired in court battles over land use and is under attack in the Texas Legislature.

The Hyperloop concept was originally developed by Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla fame. Musk is not directly involved in various projects developing Hyperloop lines, some of them in Asia and the Middle East, but he recently held a Hyperloop pod contest.

President Trump is said to be interested in Hyperloop technology as part of his infrastructure proposal.

Other proposed American Hyperloop lines include Los Angeles to Las Vegas. An LA to San Francisco would seem a natural fit, but the state of California is fixated on building a high-speed rail line between those two cities that is pegged at upwards to $100 billion in cost. Musk believes that a Hyperloop line would come in at a fraction of that cost. In any event the new technology could redefine transportation.