Anything worth reading out there?

SamO | 11/06/2017

Was in Hawthorne last night and the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) was poised at the mouth of the opening. I feel like I'm watching history in motion, every time I visit.

Ross1 | 11/06/2017

lucky you! :)

Ross1 | 11/06/2017

I shall watch out for it to appear downunder

Dramsey | 11/06/2017

Prediction: 5 years from now, there will be no operational Hyperloop and no operational "drive your car onto an autonomous electric sled tunnel system."

Sometimes I worry about Elon. At least he's not directly involved in the Hyperloop stuff.

Ross1 | 11/06/2017

Boring. It seems something is missing here.

lar_lef | 11/06/2017

Ross 1

RedShift | 11/06/2017


If everyone were as 'optimistic' (or, as you'd possibly like to frame it: 'pragmatic') we wouldn't have a single company on this planet. :-)

Dramsey | 12/06/2017

You know, that's what all the free energy folks keep saying....;-) | 12/06/2017

Sadly, I actually agree with Dramsey. I think the timeframe for massive projects like this is closer to 15 years. Most infrastructure projects of similar magnitude often take 10-20 years or so from conception to completion. The actual work may be quicker, but getting financing, design, rights-of-way, regulatory approvals, environmental studies, dealing with enevatible lawsuits from those who want to stop projects, and I'm sure a few other hurdles, takes huge amounts of time.

SamO | 12/06/2017,

Reasoning by analogy in this case is not effective.

TBM speed optimization at 1 mile per week is the only way this works. So I'd split the difference and say that the first route from LAX to Culver City will open in 5 years.

Uncle Paul | 12/06/2017

This is the old way of thinking BE (Before Elon)

From Paypal to Space X to Tesla to Solar Panels (and now Boring) Elon has taken concepts that many thought impossible and got them into production. Now the solutions seem obvious, and well thought out.

Elon will develop the concept of underground and Hyperloop travel to where it will be commonplace. He will then take that technology to colonize Mars, and make Mankind inter-planetory and ultimately inter-Stellar.

It will take longer than Elon thinks, but far shorter than most scoffers can imagine...and it WILL get done.

In the future people will be Chuck Norris quips...about Elon.

Uncle Paul | 12/06/2017 telling Chuck Norris quips.

rxlawdude | 12/06/2017

How many years did it take to build Hoover (Boulder) Dam?

SamO | 12/06/2017

Five years. The contractors were allowed seven years from April 20, 1931, but concrete placement in the dam was completed May 29, 1935, and all features were completed by March 1, 1936.

rxlawdude | 12/06/2017

And from a complexity standpoint, how does the boring project compare to Boulder Dam?

RedShift | 12/06/2017

Complexity is huge owing to the network of underground pipes of various kinds.

SamO | 12/06/2017

The complexity of the improvement to the TBM is great, but digging holes isn't complex.

And there aren't many pipes at the depth the Boring Company intends to bore.

Dramsey | 12/06/2017

Digging holes isn't complex? Consider the Big Dig in Boston. Original schedule had this tunnel-- laughably shallow, short, and simple by Boring Company standards-- completed in 1998 at a cost of $2.8 billion. It was actually completed in December 2007 at a cost of $14.6 billion.

And it doesn't have autonomous electric sleds that whoosh vehicles along, either.

Now, I know Elon never misses a stated schedule, but still, I'd still bet this one's going nowhere fast.

SamO | 12/06/2017

Reminds me of many in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and today, and their certainty that Elon Musk was "going nowhere fast" regarding the transition to EVs, solar roofs and backup batteries. Or the same people that said you could never land a rocket first stage back after launch. Or on a drone ship. Or re-use said rocket.

But unless someone has a technical objection (analogizing from the past doesn't count as thinking) then lay-opinions are worthless.

Mike83 | 12/06/2017

Voyage to the Center of the Earth comes to mind. But Sci-Fi has predicted quite a few things, ie. Jules Verne.

Dramsey | 12/06/2017

"And from a complexity standpoint, how does the boring project compare to Boulder Dam?"

I'd say the former is an order of magnitude more complex. The Boulder Dam is big, but we'd built lots of hydroelectric dams before. No new technology was needed for the construction of the dam (well, they did come up with a new concrete formulation), as opposed to the several needed for TBC. From their web site, they tout the development of a continuous-operation electric tunneling machine that's 4 times faster than any currently in existence; autonomous electric skates to propel vehicles (implying a massive facility to store, charge, and repair these skates), and a new system to recycle earth from the tunnel into bricks.

All that said, it's certainly possible physically, much more so than Hyperloop.

SamO | 12/06/2017

I saw MIT, Munich and Delft University compete in the first Hyperloop Pod Competition. SpaceX test track in Hawthorne is the largest evacuated tube outside of Cern.

Ross1 | 12/06/2017

There is nothing new about boring tunnels.
What exactly is the forte of Elon's idea?

SO | 13/06/2017

This is why some people can change the world and others... not so much.

DTsea | 14/06/2017

First bored tunnel was under tbe Thames in 1826.

Shallow tunnels like Big Dig are actually much harder if you cant close streets for cut and cover.

5 years is a very short time frame.

15 years ago NOBODY would have guessed spacex would be landing rockets.

In 1961 many thought moon landings were decades away.

In 1955 many thought spaceflight impossible.

In 1920 the New York Times stated that all Rockets could not work in a vacuum because of quote nothing to push against unquote,

In 1899 Lord Kelvin suggested closing the Royal patent office because all inventions had already been made.

Free energy is an impossibility. Boring tunnels is merely costly and difficult.

RedShift | 14/06/2017

Excellent, dtsea.

Ross1 | 14/06/2017

About 1940, IBM chief declared:
There may be a market for maybe 4 computers in the whole world

rlwrw | 14/06/2017

Blocks of concrete were laid in Bolder Dam so quickly that to this day, there are pockets of concrete that are still curing.

rxlawdude | 14/06/2017

@rlwrw, yep, thousands of tubes carrying cool water through the concrete.