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Some movement on the HyperLoop idea

Some movement on the HyperLoop idea

https://www.jumpstartfund.com/hyperloopmilestones.html

Two people with suitable track records are in charge. Musk is not associated with the project.

Brian H | January 14, 2014

Demos in 2015 Q1?

jk2014 | January 14, 2014

I think it would be best to work with Disney (California Adventure Park), Six Flags, etc... and make a ride of some sort. Honestly, I don't know if they could make a 5 mile long loop, but as far as paying for the demonstration article and generating some immediate investor capital, I think this could be a great area from them to explore(if they aren't already).

just an allusion | January 14, 2014

Time will tell.

Brian H | January 14, 2014

All these brilliant ideers about promotion are moot; TM is promoting by excelling in the real world. Gimmicks are unnecessary.

Brian H | January 14, 2014

A hyperloop prototype by next yr. Q1 is planned, as "demo". That would be major.

carlgo | January 14, 2014

I think the demo is everything. It is such a big deal in so many ways and with lots of untried technology. Investors and government will not get on board unless they see something zipping along and not ending in an 800 mph train wreck (sorry for the old school train terminology).

It might be that the demo is not going to be full sized. That is a lot to design and build in one year. Maybe the idea is to use small scale models and commercially available pipes, etc.

Print out the components?

Anyway, there is our future. Personal Tesla copters and cars for short trips, or leisurely drives, and HyperLoops for dinner in Paris and a cocktail in that hot new bar in NY on the way back. Interesting for sure.

Brian H | January 14, 2014

carlgo;
As Elon has accurately remarked, the hyperloop is suitable for intermediate distances, not trans- or inter-continental travel.

PorfirioR | January 15, 2014

I joined that group as a supporter back in November when there were only a handful of us. We have had zero meetings and zero communication. I am not too optimistic.

Frank.B.Smith | January 15, 2014

I am actually surprised that the oil companies have not proposed a hyperloop from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canandian Sand Tar fields as a means to get around the Keystone XL Pipeline legal issue.

grega | January 16, 2014

Is San Francisco to LA the ideal route? Flat, reasonably straight, easy to get access.

Maybe Shanghai to Beijing would be feasible. 800miles, 200mph train at present.

JZ13 | January 16, 2014

Predictions on when the California High Speed Rail Authority will pull their heads out of their arses and stop working towards the bullet train plan and embrace Hyperloop instead?

My guess: 2017 after wasting billions of dollars

carlgo | January 18, 2014

JZ13: It is up to the HyperLoop community to demo the technology in a way that begets contracts. Some sketches aren't enough to derail a program that has been underway for years and which uses technology that has been proven for decades. Build it and they will come. Otherwise it is just fun stuff to talk about, nothing more.

Brian H: Yes, you are right. I was thinking of the 4000 mph speed of vacuum tube technology, not the 800 mph of the partial vacuum HyperLoop envisioned by Musk. He thinks future supersonic or space plane airliners will be faster. He may be wrong about the economics and the speed in practice.

Dramsey | January 19, 2014

I think the best we can expect from a "demo event" in the next year is a table-top model that might actually be maglev.

I think as a country we've lost the ability to do large infrastructure projects. Anything that requires crossing a lot of land, like a train track or Hyperloop route, will spend literally decades fending off environmental and other lawsuits, and spend billions buying right-of-way.

We can't even build friggin' oil or gas pipelines any more; which leads to VOCs being transported by rail, with predictable results.

Politics, economics, and the resistance of various special-interest groups (enviros: you can't build this! Unions: you can't build this unless you use union labor! Etc.) turn potentially beneficial projects like California high-speed rail into useless political toys.

So: I don't expect to see Hyperloop. Ever. I'd like to be convinced otherwise...

PapaSmurf | January 19, 2014

Once the California "low speed" train is cancelled, then perhaps we can have a serious discussion about the Hyperloop from LA to San Francisco.

Hopefully the courts keep blocking them from starting construction due to funding gaps.

I bet if Elon put it on the ballot, Hyperloop would crush the train.

Brian H | January 19, 2014

Dramsey;
The hyperloop is intended to run above existing rights-of-way.

Dramsey | January 20, 2014

Brian, I don't see how that makes any difference. They'll still need to file environmental impact statements, they'll still be sued to stop it (for whatever reasons), and the technical issues involved in building a large, partially-evacuated tubeway above an existing road, railroad track, or whatever, seem immense to me.

Of course the technical issues are the least important and most easily solved. Still, I think it's telling that Musk just tossed the plans out there for someone else to build.

grega | January 22, 2014

@Dramsey, the political/union issues is why I suggested China (or Asia generally). I was in Taiwan recently and they were putting up a 60mile elevated highway, and building it in mile stretches, with every mile stretch being built simultaneously by different teams. It's probably already finished. They also prioritise national infrastructure needs above personal needs, which is important to keeping things running well.

Dramsey | January 24, 2014

@grega, good points. Maybe once someone else proves its possible, we'd see some action here.

Of course that's what I thought when RFID credit cards appeared over a decade ago, with their vastly better security. That's a pretty trivial thing and they're still like unicorn horns over here.

Timo | January 24, 2014

eh....RFID credit cards are rare? Really?

OTOH you could have better security without them, RFID as a protocol is inherently unsecure and can be read from distance. Copying a card is possible with right equipment from couple of meters. If the card has some security it would need some intelligence which isn't transmitted thru RFID.

carlgo | January 24, 2014

Building this along existing transportation routes would not attract much environmental opposition, far less than the train and that was approved.

If the tests and economics are good it will attract private investment, minimize the role of government and not attract the anti-government side of things.

A good test would result in a vast amount of positive publicity and the public would be excited about the idea.

It could be the least opposed major project ever.

A tabletop HO gauge test would not be persuasive. A full-sized pipe and one "car" would not cost appreciably more than something say half-sized and could be incorporated in the the final project.

Captain_Zap | January 24, 2014

There is a jumpstarter and a kickstarter?

grega | January 24, 2014

@carlgo, is the San Francisco to LA route sufficiently straight? Obviously if it's a nice smooth, barely turning road the whole way then it is a very good candidate to simply follow.

1PARSEC | January 24, 2014

I joined the HyperLoop Systems group this past November. To date, and as far as I can tell, no tasks or milestones have been completed. A group meeting was in the works in November, but that never, to my knowledge, never materialized.

Not long ago I submitted a post for a 50K LACMA grant for the ART + TECH project in which SPACEX is a participating partner. This grant could be used to subsidize the demo, but I received minimal response from the "group" about pursuing this funding. So, as far as I can tell, there's very little happening tangibly on this front...but I do hope I'm wrong about that...

TeslaRocks | January 26, 2014

Thanks to the original poster for sharing that link. I wrote down my ideas on the hyperloop and emailed it to them in PDF format. I'd like to share it with you here, preferable a link to the PDF online, but I'm not sure of a neat way to do that. On the other hand, copy and pasting the text in a message would take a lot of room and might not even work if it blocks me. Any ideas?

PorfirioR | January 26, 2014

@TeslaRocks
The Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. jumpstart project seems to be stalled, based on my experience and that of @blankenship.ann.

I would recommend emailing any technical feedback to hyperloop@spacex.com or hyperloop@teslamotors.com. I believe Elon's premonition of having to do it himself might come true.

If you would like to share your document with us, you could try uploading it to dropbox.com then posting the link here. The forum's spam filter seems to be tolerant of dropbox. I am not sure about other document sharing sites.

TeslaRocks | January 26, 2014

Thanks for the suggestion, PorfirioR. I hadn't thought of using Dropbox and I didn't know it could be used that way. That knowledge will be very useful to me in the future, so I can easily publish the madness I write. So here's the latest:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yv298zfbv6ctm55/Hyperloop_Feedback_Ideas.pdf

Yes, I emailed this to the hyperloop addresses. I hope someone still checks those mailboxes.

Anyways, I welcome your feedback to my feedback!

TeslaRocks | January 27, 2014

I didn't mention that in the text, but I suspect that square or rectangle would be a better inner tube shape than circle for these reasons:
-more stable because the tube, not just center of gravity, would keep the pod from flipping over,
-extending arms with skis on the end could reach for the for corners and a stretching tarp would be drawn between them and a stretching cable or rod on the perimeter, all much simpler than with a circle,
-the floor being flat instead of curved, spliting the tube into two could be done by arching the floor upwards in the center like is the case with many modern streets, so that the pod would naturally want to fall to the left or the right and would be unlikely to stay in the center for long,
-building a tunnel of variable diameter might be arguably easier as a square or rectangle than a circle.

In at least my vision of the hyperloop, it would be easy for Tesla to use it as part of its distribution pipeline for quick, simple, inexpensive, and reliable delivery. Wouldn't you like to pick up your brand new Model S (or X or E) at the nearest hyperloop terminal, knowing that it comes straight from the factory and can't have been damaged during shipping?

carlgo | January 28, 2014

@grega:

Lots of straight sections on the various north-south highways, especially I5.But also lots of curves and elevation changes. The HyperLoop would have to cut corners, go through mountain tunnels and in some areas where curves would have to be tighter than idea there would have to be a speed limit so passengers wouldn't be terrified.

if this idea is to work it must not be reliant on perfect flat terrain, although of course the costs go up considerably through mountains and urban areas. Note that this is also true for railroads and freeways.

TeslaRocks | January 29, 2014

@carlgo

In my opinion high subsonic is probably too high a speed except maybe as a demo on the ideal path. Half the speed of sound is still crazy fast but is a lot more realistic (or less unrealistic). Going at half the speed of sound, for example, won't take that much longer, and this need not matter if comfort and convenience are maximized to the point of making any other travel method look spartan in comparison. Most people won't care if a trip takes twice as long to complete if they are enjoying perfect comfort the whole way, such as catching up on sleep or getting entertained. Would actually be quite fun: a little vacation inside a trip.

So the big opportunity with the hyperloop, in my opinion, is to improve mostly comfort, not so much speed.

PS: really slow earthly speeds would not work, though, as people would have the perception that they are not moving and would get mad. It must be fast enough so that the scenery flashes by you, so at least as fast as a race car.

grega | January 30, 2014

It seems to me that the small version of the hyper loop would be significantly cheaper than the large one, though the estimates show it's not much different (so I have to accept I may be wrong!) :). The design of the hyper loop cars is made so that people don't get up - which allows for faster turns with safety, but prevents toilet breaks too, so the length of trip becomes important.

If you're going to slow down you add bathrooms and need walk ways. The hyper loop doesn't have windows either, and if you add those you change the nature and cost of what you're building. Also the fastest I've been on land is 260mph and the scenery doesn't flash by (though a train doing 260mph in the opposite direction is gone in a split second!). So you can add toilets, pathways, reduce speed and turning impact, add windows and increase the cost in various ways - and it doesn't get there much faster than a regular train. If all you do is improve comfort, then do it on a regular train right?

I originally believed a bigger sized hyper loop, slightly slower, was an easier way of getting acceptance through familiarity, but I now think breaking the expectations of people has a greater value, especially if thinner lighter tubes above freeways makes it more viable.

Timo | January 30, 2014

I think a working analog to hyperloop would be very fast horizontal lift more than any vehicle. You enter one point, push a button to some "floor" and exit when it is your turn to get out. Star Trek turbolifts.

TeslaRocks | February 6, 2014

grega,

My personal original idea, dating back to a few years, before I even heard anything about the hyperloop, was to improve comfort on a train, especially by offering room and garage wagons in which you can park and sleep the night while the train goes at high speed to your destination, where your room and garage wagon can be parked so that you can comfortably wake up and drive away when you are ready. The problems with that are high capital cost (which is hard to avoid in infrastructure), but also high operating costs (you need a driver, someone to attach and detach wagons, conduct safety checks, and be available to solve unforeseen problems). Like other trains but perhaps especially because it is high speed, it would be vulnerable to weather. Finally, by the very nature of a train, there would be departure times, which I was hoping to avoid because they can be inconvenient and stressful for most people. The risk of accidents also disturbed me. I realized that making this project a reality would almost certainly always be beyond my means, but it's just in my nature to dream of solutions to problems, like that.

Then, by chance, in the fall of 2012 I read that Elon suggested the hyperloop concept, although there were annoyingly few details at first. Nevertheless, I imagined what it could be and quickly realized that this was the way to improve on my idea. My new idea would allow for automation to drastically reduce operating costs, safety because of immunity to weather and accidents, convenience because of continuous departures since there is no need to form a train, just pills in a tube, and maybe even lower capital costs (a simple tube instead of maglev or something fancy). In the hyperloop feedback paper I posted a week ago, I suggest designing it for a multitude of smaller (and more personal) pods with less space in between. Those pods and the air around them would flow almost as one fluid through streamlined pipes, occasionally guided by the hyperloop's computer mastermind to direct each pod to its destination. For example, where the tube splits like interchanges on a highway, well-timed suction would occur in a large hole on the side of the tube on which the pod must lean to enter the right tube at the split ahead. Everything would be automated and smooth so that millions of pods would automatically go on their merry way to where they must go.

Supersonic flight could be the solution for distant travel when time is limited, although maybe at a high price at least at first. The hyperloop, as a sort of upgrade to the highway network, would be the comfortable and affordable way for average people to get around within a country or continent. Maybe continental hyperloop networks could someday connect, but at least that would not be for a very long time and if it ever happens, by then hypersonic planes might be more practical then hyperlooping around the world.

carlgo | February 7, 2014

Hey, a continuous line of pods, like a metal snake, was my idea. Little air resistance. The problem is that some would be empty, but would have to be kept in line and moving, so personal pods would have to pop out an empty pod which itself would pop back in when the personal pod is popped out.

Lower speeds, as proposed by people, would require poop places and perhaps that alone would phk up the process.

The high speed train, if it had free wine pairings and places to smoke pot, would be particularly popular.

TeslaRocks | February 10, 2014

carlgo

A density of pods akin to cars on highway at rush hour does not require empty pods to be sent unless there is a need for them at the other end (if people are going mostly one way). A gap between pods is no problem. Excess pods would remain parked at terminal. In fact, the hyperloop should have more pods than it can carry, to allow time for people to get on and off and to clean, sanitize, and service them. The room pod, arguably the most comfortable, would be a nice personal space for a few people (a group, such as a family). It would have a plenty of air and water, in each their tank, and an empty septic tank big enough, to last the trip and beyond. I'm sure someone half as smart as Elon could figure this out.

Being strapped in a chair with no possibility of moving, I don't care how short the trip is, should be avoided by anyone except those seeking an extreme discount. At least in a car, people have the feeling of freedom, have the option to open the window or stop and get out. To compensate for the feeling of being trapped in a tube (going at neck-breaking speed, to top it off), the vast majority will appreciate two things: (1) the ability to move around and get comfortable in their room or pod and (2) the ability to look at the scenery directly and as much as possible all around through a transparent tube and pod. The interesting part is, unless I am deeply mistaken, those things can pretty easily be given to them.

I really hope that anyone involved in the hyperloop will at least read what I wrote before building anything. I'd like there to be a good discussion to make the concept really cool.

TeslaRocks | February 10, 2014

carlgo

The popularity of automobiles proves that people generally appreciate having their own personal space. They appreciate it so much that they have been willing to put up with significant disadvantages: higher costs, pollution, traffic jams, worries and hassle of driving... The hyperloop IS the opportunity to have the best of both worlds: the economy and efficiency of mass transit AND the convenience, comfort, and privacy of the automobile. In fact, it would be a new standard above all that. And yes, in your own pod you could drink, smoke, play really loud music or have sex as you would at home and feel perfectly fine. That's assuming you don't have kids with you, of course.

Brian H | February 11, 2014

People in a car are strapped (seat-belted) into their seats for much longer than the half-hour Hyperloop trips. Hi-tech video screens will keep them entertained.

milddp | February 12, 2014

I’ve been a Transportation/Highway Engineer for over 40 years. I think this is a great concept. I applaud you for energizing it!
Please don’t take these comments as criticism, but positive feedback and input to the design. I tend to sound harsh, but it is just me being a left-handed engineer. I’m a numbers guy, not a word-smith.
The Hyper Loop could be a ‘bypass’ to the existing transportation systems, like the thruway and Interstate construction!
For sustainability into the future I strongly believe that new technologies should be advanced where appropriate for this project, particularly with nanotechnology. The genius of Tesla and SpaceX is that you re-engineered the technologies from the ground up. Do the same for this and it will also exhibit success. Using existing components and technologies will doom it to inadequacy, like the Chevy Volt. Yes, the R & D costs, and the re-engineered materials will cost and will take more time, but otherwise you’ll be chasing technology and end up with a compromised project. Compromise is probably why the California high speed rail ended up where it is. Normally all high speed rail studies have a Mag-Lev 350 mph alternate, the California rail is probably not an exception. I’m sure it got nixed by some politician due to cost & time constraints. The newest advanced-induction design was probably not yet developed, and was not incorporated into the design, which made the cost prohibitive. They would also benefit from redesigning components from the ground up. Maybe they still can.
Vehicle and tube components could be constructed of layered laminates (fiber & metal) using nanotech-adhesives (not epoxy, as is presently in most airliners). Structure components could use carbon nano-tube reinforcement. Maybe the “tube” skin could be flexible, reducing some of the pressure constriction. Evacuated air could be compressed and that energy recycled. All mechanical systems should have energy recovery mechanisms, similar to the braking action in hybrid cars that helps generate electricity to put back in the battery, or heat recovery systems in HVAC engineering.
Due to the “build it and they will come” principle, I believe an alternate should be considered with tubes and vehicles capable of handling far more than 28 people or three vehicles. Avoid what has happened to many transportation projects, which are obsolete before they are completed.
Just like the 10 lane Freeways in California, expect major demands on its usage. I grew up in California in the 1950’s and there was nobody using most of the lanes. People commented that 8 and 10 lanes just looked silly, why did they build so many lanes? Thank God they did! Transportation projects are typically (and I think legally) required to be built for a design year 20 or 30 years after construction. Ridership needs to be projected to expectations at a future date. Projecting ridership at say, 3% per year for 20 years increases the 6 million to 10 million.
Typically studies project ridership to go up a study percentage, say 0.5% for every minute you reduce the total ride time. Reducing the ride time by 2 hours (from the high speed rail), ridership demand could be as much as 6 million +120 times 0.005=3.6 million + 6 million=say 10 million. Does that 6 million commuters add-in those that now commute by air? I would recommend a design that can accommodate both future increases and demand expectations of at least 15 to 20 million riders per year. A larger scale helps insure fair access and “social justice.” Limits on accessibility violate discrimination laws. The facility cannot use public land and planetary resources while having even the perception of excluding anyone from its usage.
Make vehicle sizes more like railway cars or busses. Consider cars with machine-nesting systems for personal cars, motorcycles and bicycles, while passengers are safely secured in separate cars. Possibly 30 feet wide by 60 feet long, large enough for two cars side-by-side and rows of seats with a center aisle accessible to wheel chairs.
Inertial accelerations on passengers of 0.5g is high. Current transportation systems, road and rail use 0.1g, with an absolute maximum of 0.2g. It is based on comfort, not safety alone. Many people may be able to handle 0.5g, but it is not generally anticipated, and is too much for older, handicapped or child passengers. A center axis tilt of up to 60%, or 30 degrees or more should be designed into the tubes. With the 0.2g, the minimum radius for 760 mph is more than 8 miles, rather than 3 miles, and for 4000 mph is more than 200 miles. Tangent length minimums between the curves, to transition the tilt, are, for 760 mph (with 0.2g) about 2 miles and for 4000 mph, maybe 10 miles. This does not present as much of a problem as you might think, however. A minimum design radius of 1 million feet merely requires 3 miles of length for each 1 degree of deflection of the alignment. Viable alignments can be developed. Tangents should be set that minimize deflections, or that are “kicked-out” to set up for the offsets of the curves.
Yes, this will probably cause it to come out of the existing roadway right-of-ways. This makes it even more compelling to build a larger system. Once you take right-of-way, you must do an Environment Impact Statement. Even building on existing right-of-way will require doing an EIS, because it causes aesthetic and visual impacts which will have to be acceptable and mitigated for adjacent properties. Improvement of an existing facility within right-of-ways can bypass many permit requirements, but construction of a new facility does not reduce the permit and EIS process. Aerial easements still require permitting and acquisition. Placement in the median of highways is probably not appropriate, either. They are probably reserved for future widening; but mostly, the highway alignments have curvatures that are designed for far less than the speeds applicable to this project.
Also, I believe you could do better with the structure spans. The use of cable-stayed construction uses pylons that support a length on each side of the pylon equal to twice the height of the pylon (30 degrees at the tubes). The pylons could also be concrete reinforced with carbon nano-tubes. Carbon nano-tubes have the added advantage of actually “growing” rather than breaking down.
Electrical and power components should be re-engineered to withstand weather similar to satellite components. Each part should independently withstand moisture, freeze/thaw, heat expansion, vacuum/pressure. “Frogging”, or encapsulating a unit in epoxy or plastic eventually should be abandoned as a design practice, since it eventually results in breakdown. The ‘elements’ tear the unit apart internally.

carlgo | February 12, 2014

@TeslaRocks

The idea of the continuous metal snake is that I think it would go fast even in a non-vacuum tube because the cars would displace the air in the tube, for the most part, and there would be no head-on air resistance. Once you got it going it would have so much inertia and almost no friction so that only a little boost now and then would keep it going.

I actually have no idea if this would be a good idea in any way.

Like your vision of future travel better.

PorfirioR | February 13, 2014

The volume of air inside the tube is a design element. Therefore, making the cars longer or shorter would not impact the air volume once the hyperloop is operational. It should remain at whatever the operationally optimum volume is for that design.

Building a snake or train may make it just slightly less air to pump out to achieve the desired partial-vacuum condition but there are trade-offs - not to mention that you could achieve the same by other means. One of the big trade-offs is the mass of the car in relation to the kinetic forces. We have air resistance and rolling friction currently as key and crucial elements of the alpha-paper design. The way we deal with one problem helps us deal with the other (brilliant!).

Remember that, in the alpha paper design, the pod uses the air compressed at the front of the pod to levitate itself on air bearings. Therefore, if we changed the design to a 100% vacuum it would require a different design to deal with rolling resistance.

In the hyperloop design, the pod's frontal cross-section, along with the tube's air pressure and geometry, dictate how much mass the pod can have and how fast it can travel, along with other design features. For example, one of the current limitations in this design has to do with how to deal with the heat of the air being compressed, which requires the pod to carry water and store steam. This may not be something that scales well.

Even though many researchers agree that the design is feasible and even though there have been various computer simulations that prove the concept (although with some variations proposed), all this technology remains obviously unproven.

My point is that physics will dictate the best design. Unless you work for the government where politics and money are expected to alter the laws of physics (see California "high speed" rail).

grega | February 17, 2014

I suspect that making a 30 foot wide hyper loop significantly changes … everything. :) Including expense! I was for the car-carrier version at first, but the ability to make far smaller, lighter tubes makes a lot of sense.

Hey a first version might do better by picking some moderately busy, reasonably short route. Like a busy major airport that is a long drive out of the city, so that a hyper loop into the city is the best option… especially if the airport is in a line between 2 big cities, for later extension.

carlgo | February 17, 2014

@PorfirioR: Great explanation. Although I am dubious about the high speed train in economic terms, it is a mature technology and does not require any new science.

Right now a lot of people like the train, but are nervous about it, not so committed yet and open to other alternatives. Once it gets built, people will not be so supportive of a rival system.

There is a window of opportunity that will not remain open for very long at all and if there is no demo very soon, the Hyperloop won't happen for decades.

@grega: I think it would be better to build the first section/demo out along a remote railroad route. Much cheaper and faster to build, and a better place to work out problems.

If the system is proven, then it will be easier to get it funded/permitted/built in urban areas. And, it just may make more sense to build BART-like systems for those short routes anyway. No need for super high speed for a few mile trip.

grega | February 17, 2014

Definitely easier to make a concept setup somewhere isolated, and the 'extra' costs are probably less than building a real (short) option that goes through difficult to reach areas.

What I'd meant was somewhere like the potential next Sydney airport - about 35 miles. Taipei's airport, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong are similar distances. JFK Airport is about half that distance, quite close to manhattan (same with San Francisco and LA). Many growing cities are considering new airports further out of the city and this would seem an interesting possibility if they are built. Not just a demonstration but something people could actively use.

PorfirioR | February 17, 2014

Well, way back when the project started my proposal was to look at building a prototype at or near Spaceport America.

There are many practical reasons for that. The Spaceport is a nice place to visit if you are a space nut but, most of the time, it is (excuse me) boring. The site is remote and isolated. The prototype hyperloop could become an attraction of its own. I would definitely pay to ride it then tour the spaceport looking at buildings that may or may not be empty, and aircraft that may or may not be there.

At least from an aerial view, there is a nice potential 50 mile track East of I-25 from Sierra (where the Spaceport is located) south to Las Cruces. If they want to get ambitious, they could keep going south for a 100 mile segment to El Paso.

Another reason is that SpaceX already has a presence at the Spaceport, as do other potential partners.

Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk ought to get together and build this thing. To borrow a quote from one of my favorite movies: People will come.

Brian H | February 18, 2014

Yabbut, just for this short run, there's a delta of $50Bn on the table. Jerry seems determined to blow it, though.

carlgo | February 18, 2014

I think Brown is a pragmatist and would support an alternative to the RR if there was one. At this point there are only sketches and musings. Somebody needs to step up and string together a few miles of culverts and rig up a jet locomotive and do something convincing, and do it fast.

Right now there are people with titles and perhaps an artfully decorated office in a swank building, along with some likely interesting computer simulations. We need to see contracts and stuff being built. Brown plainly said he wants "s**t done" during his lifetime, and he is not young.

Field of Dreams is a great movie indeed and yes if it is built people will come (with money too).

Brian H | February 18, 2014

The ho-ho-hi-speed hoax he's funding now will fail that test. Obviously.

grega | February 21, 2014

Can't have a tourist attraction hyper loop, I would say. Too costly to maintain it all for occasional use. Need an immensely busy, short corridor…. which means it's densely populated.

Ahh well… technology demonstration first, then move to a short busy corridor, and then on to the interesting stuff.

carlgo | February 21, 2014

@grega: exactly.

But, it has to be done while there is this window of opportunity. People are getting off the train bandwagon, there are doubts even in the minds of those who have wanted this done for decades.

If nothing happens, people will just groan and accept the train and go on with it.

At best, then, the Hyperloop might re-emerge a decade later as a parallel system to the train and freeways with autonomous car controls.

And would this be so bad? Perhaps over the years there would be a number of demo projects and new technologies might emerge which would make for a faster and better system. And it might also be the only thing that is actually feasible then as the train and freeway systems will be maxed out.

Anyway, wake me up when something happens.

TeslaRocks | February 27, 2014

Light is the fastest thing we know, and my version of the hyperloop would replicate the speed of light, but without even breaking the speed of sound.

This is because a photon is said to NOT experience time or distance along the direction in which it travels. That dimension is compressed so that the point of emission and point of absorption are the same, from the photon's perspective.
http://www.askamathematician.com/2011/07/q-does-light-experience-time/

A comfortable sleep can have a similar effect, giving a person the impression of not experiencing time. It does not feel like significant time passed from the moment you start to doze off in your bed at night to the ring of the alarm clock in the morning (assuming nothing disturbed you), even though those moments could have been 8 hours apart. A maximum comfort, automated, and reliable hyperloop would have the same feeling. I often fall asleep on the bus if I get a seat, after 10 minutes of reading a textbook, but I never reach a deep sleep because of limited comfort and the concern of missing my stop or of being a bandit's next victim. In the private, comfortable capsules of the hyperloop as I imagine it, it would be different, you could easily reach a deep sleep (unless this ride is new and exciting for you) and be gently rocked to your destination: fall asleep in LA and wake up in NY.

jk2014 | February 27, 2014

Hyperloop as material/pack transporter between nummi and gigafactory. This could be the demonstration article. After doing the analysis, might Tesla conclude hyperloop is a value add worth the investment? If they could build it for 1bln, could this be included in gigafactory capital raise? Or could the hyperloop company announce a partnership with Tesla and raise the capital that way?

Reno is only 195 miles away from fredmont... Better yet, of they find a location outside the Bay Area, could be under 75 miles long...

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