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Godot The Boring Machine Completes First Segment

Elon Musk's underground dreams could worm their way to Chicago

June 29, 2017

Looks like Elon may be specializing in city-to-airport transportation.

According to his Wednesday afternoon tweet, Musk's Boring Company drill, named Godot, has completed the first segment of a tunnel in Los Angeles.

Musk has been working on getting permits and approvals to build a network of tunnels under and around Los Angles which would transport passengers  at 124 mph on electric sleds, free from all aboveground terrestrial traffic.

Musk and Godot seem to be providing a proof-of-concept argument for his discussions with Chicago Mayor Emanuel about possibly building a high-speed rail line from O'Hare Airport to downtown Chicago.

Chicago Deputy Mayor Steven Koch met with Musk and said he was intrigued by the Loop-O'Hare proposal. According to a report in Crain's, Musk said his boring machine can carve out tunnels faster and cheaper than conventional drilling technology. Speculation is that by bringing his ideas to Chicago, Musk may have a private sector interest in building the Loop-O'Hare rail line.

If he were to line up private funding for rapid airport rail service, Chicago would get the benefits without the financial risk. "It's definitely good to see the private sector proposing solutions," says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Given the state of the state's finances, private money may be the only way Chicago will ever see Godot at work.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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