The Hyperloop

Started Aug 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
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BorisK1 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,607
Re: The Devil is in the Details

mamallama wrote:

Good paper study and some hand-waving but I'd like to the cost breakdown study. As I understand it the high costs of the California High Speed Train are driven by expensive right-of-way purchase and the stations costs that are in the cities and not out in the orchards. I don't see that putting the train in a tube or on tracks make much difference in those costs.

The tubes are supposed to be elevated on pylons.  From what I understand, this is the main source of the savings - a lot less earth-moving is required, and much less land acquisition, compared to a traditional railroad.  A lot less environmental impact, too.

Moreover the tube technology is not even developed yet, AFAIK, and I'm sure those development costs won't be cheap.

One of their points is that they'll use many off-the-shelf components (they specifically mentioned tubing, battery packs, and compressors).  And while development costs won't be trivial, I doubt it can be the major expence.  It took GM around 1 billion to develop the Volt.  The pods should be actually easier to design, because they are supposed to function in controlled environment.

The 800 mph might be just be a pipe dream which so far it is. Has anyone seen one run that fast?

They are planning to use subsonic speeds (600-700mph).  But you're right of course, no telling at this stage what engineering and business challenges are in the way.

An already developed and operating Magnetic Levitation System like the 280 mph Shanghai Maglev Train seems like a better choice over the current California High Speed design.

It wouldn't be much cheaper though.

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