The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have signed an official agreement to begin studies into the feasibility of constructing a Hyperloop link between the cities of Cleveland and Chicago.

The service will be operated by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), which first announced the news, and has formed a consortium of local groups to deliver the scheme. An event is scheduled for 26 February at the Great Lakes Science Centre in Cleveland, where other members of the consortium will be announced.

“Regulations are the ultimate battier for Hyperloop implementation, and we are excited to build the first real public-private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the US,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT. “With this agreement, we welcome innovative and industry-leading partners in both government and industry to our movement.”

The announcement follows Ohio’s legislature supporting the initiative in 2017, and what HTT calls ‘widespread support’ for the project in the region.

The Hyperloop systems consists of pressurised capsules which can transport passengers and goods, and float on a magnetic cushion; this magnetic levitation system is called Inductrack. The capsules are silent and emission free, and can reach speeds of 760mph, each carrying between 28 and 40 passengers. HTT claims that its capsules can move 164,000 passengers a day on each line.

The capsules also boast a safety skin made of a specialist material called Vibranium, which consists of carbon fibre and embedded sensors. The material is eight times stronger than aluminium, and 1.5 times as light, and transmits information on capsule temperature and stability as it moves.

The group’s proposed line between Cleveland and Chicago will cover 313 miles at an average speed of 730mph, reducing journey times between the two cities to 28 minutes.

“We came here because places like Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh have the manufacturing, the raw materials and the talented, hardworking people in order to make it happen,” said HTT chief global operations officer Andrea La Mendola.

“We can source everything from this area. This is a place where you make big things.”