Fresh from Tuesday's spectacular rocket launch, visionary billionaire Elon Musk has come back down to earth in a way that could benefit 20,000 daily downtown passengers racing to get to O'Hare Airport.

Musk's The Boring Company is one of four powerhouses interested in designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining an express train to O'Hare. Musk's Jetsons-like plan is to build a "high-speed loop" using "electric pods" in underground tunnels.

The other responses to the Chicago Infrastructure Trust's "request for qualifications" come from teams with heavy experience in designing, building and bankrolling major public infrastructure projects.

More than 175 industry representatives signed up for a pre-bid conference in the six days after the request for qualifications hit the streets.

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