Tech billionaire Elon Musk has announced - via Twitter - that he has received "verbal government approval" for a vacuum-sealed ultra-high speed underground transport system linking New York to Washington DC.
The purported approval has come through Musk's enterprise, The Boring Company. The underground train, known as hyperloop, would use electromagnetic propulsion to make the 350 kilometre connection between New York and Washington DC in just 29 minutes.
Musk added that the train would run from "city center to city center [sic] in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”
"Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly.” he tweeted.
Both Tesla and The Boring Company declined to comment when pressed for more information.
A White House spokesman said in a statement: "We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector. Unfortunately for Musk, "promising conversations" is not an approval."
“Elon Musk has had no contact with Philadelphia officials on this matter,” said Mike Dunn, the Philadelphia city spokesman.
“We do not know what he means when he says he received ‘verbal government approval’. There are numerous hurdles for this unproven ‘hyperloop’ technology before it can become reality.”
“There is no such thing as a verbal environmental approval,” said Madeline Brozen, associate director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“There is just a gigantic environment of people that this project would be required to work with,” she added.
Musk appears to be rounding up Twitter followers to help him lobby for the system: "If you want this to happen fast, please let your local & federal elected representatives know. Makes a big difference if they hear from you."