The Hyperloop

Started Aug 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Collett OP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,018
Re: The Devil is in the Details

mamallama wrote:

Collett wrote:

I thought this story about an idea developed by Elon Musk (Telsa) was interesting. From the link:

"Serial entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk unveiled design plans for his Hyperloop -- a superfast transport system that could cut the travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco to 30 minutes, and cost a fraction of the currently proposed high speed rail project.

Musk, a co-founder of PayPal and the man behind commercial space transport firm Space-X and electric car maker Tesla (TSLA), said up to 1,000 employees from both Tesla and Space X worked to come up with the idea, which is basically an elevated tube which moves travel pods at nearly the speed of sound.

In a technical paper published Monday, Musk said his idea is similar to the "old pneumatic tubes used to send mail and packages within and between buildings," but would operate under much less pressure to save on energy.

The cars would be pushed or pulled through the tube by a series of electric motors, possibly similar to the ones used by the Tesla Model S. Each car would be mounted with a fan in front to move the air out of the way. The air itself would then be directed underneath the car, forming a cushion on which it would ride. The entire thing would be powered by solar panels mounted on top of the tube.

Related: Elon Musk's greatest hits.

The tube itself could be built above ground, roughly following California's Interstate 5 highway from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Musk said it could cost less than one-tenth of the planed high speed rail system in California -- a project that's estimated to cost $70 billion. It would also be six times faster.

In fact, it was the high cost of the California train that prompted Musk to research the Hyperloop in the first place."How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL -- doing incredible things like indexing all the world's knowledge and putting rovers on Mars -- would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world," he wrote.

Experts say Musk's idea is technically feasible, but will be hard to implement primarily due to the cots of developing a demonstration project and the time it will take to get all the permits."

Looks interesting, especially if it can be done for the cost and the specs he has laid out.


Valid points Mamma.

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.

Moreover the tube technology is not even developed yet, AFAIK, and I'm sure those development costs won't be cheap.The 800 mph might be just be a pipe dream which so far it is. Has anyone seen one run that fast?

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.

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