2014 Apr 22 By Blake 0 comment

What is happening with the Denver – Boulder Turnpike of U.S. 36? Concern of local communities pitted against companies based across the globe are putting public-private partnerships in scrutiny.

What we do know is that the infrastructure (highway upgrades, bike paths, bus and proposed light rail)  that is between Boulder and Denver makes for a somewhat uncertain commute time. Weather, accidents, and sheer volume are all factors in this as well.

The first line of the hyperloop should be between Boulder and Denver. As a friend said of the route, “Not too long, plenty of room.”

We can look back to the history of Colorado to see how we could make this happen. The Colorado and Clear Creek Railroad Company was founded by a bunch of entrepreneurs.  They made the Colorado Central Railroad as the first rail line up connecting historic Colorado mining communities such as Black Hawk, Central City, and Idaho Springs.

Colorado Central Railroad Map
Colorado Central Railroad via gilpintram.com

 

The decline of the Colorado Central Railroad were due to financial problems and then it was slowly bought out by Union Pacific, which too had financial problems.

Just as the purpose of the Gilpin Tram was to bring the ore down from the mills, the Colorado Centrals primary purpose was to bring the refined gold out of the mountains.   But there was a more long term purpose as well.   If a transcontinental route could be developed up Clear Creek, then Golden would be the commerce center for all of the Colorado Rockies. 

Luckily, future transit projects will not be based on the  mining industry. Instead, the population density between Boulder and Denver will ensure lots of use of the Hyperloop.

arcgis Population Density Map
arcgis Population Density Map

If a Fort Collins to Colorado Springs hyperloop could be developed up though Boulder, Denver would be the commercial if not geographic center. The benefits of removing cars from the Boulder-Denver corridor will give us cleaner air and less stress.  But the partnerships that create a Colorado Hyperloop Company will need to be as transparent (via local, state, and federal audits) as the crisp mountain air.

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