This is either Elon Musk's Hyperloop, or Alfred Ely Beach's 1867 Pneumatic Railway. I get confused.
The intent of this document has been to create a new open source form of transportation that could revolutionize travel. The authors welcome feedback and will incorporate it into future revisions of the Hyperloop project, following other open source models such as Linux.
Once all capsules behind the stranded capsule had been safely brought to rest, capsules would drive themselves to safety using small onboard electric motors to power deployed wheels.
Using Musk's own assumptions about speed, it would take 2 hours to get from LA to SF in the hyperloop.
I can't find Musk's estimate on how much it would cost to build 40 of these trains, maintain them, and come up with a system that somehow juggles arriving and departing trains.
The critics of California’s high-speed rail may be dismayed to learn that Musk does not plan to commercialize the Hyperloop technology for the time being. He’s posting the plans and asking for feedback and contemplating building a prototype. “I’m just putting this out there as an open source design,” he says. “There are sure to be suggestions out there for making this better, correcting any mistakes, and refining the design.” Musk maintains that he has too much on his plate to deal with bringing the Hyperloop to fruition. “I wish I had not mentioned it,” he says. “I still have to run SpaceX and Tesla, and it’s fucking hard.”
Musk says he would support another person or organization that wanted to make the Hyperloop a reality.
“It is a question of finding the right person and team to get behind it,” Musk says. “Creating a prototype is not that expensive.” But if no one advances or acts on Musk’s ideas, he may come back to the Hyperloop in a few years’ time and pursue it as part of Tesla. “Down the road, I might fund or advise on a Hyperloop project, but right now I can’t take my eye off the ball at either SpaceX or Tesla.”
"It was very much a background task—it was not anybody’s full-time job,” he [Musk] said. “We were just batting it around in the background at SpaceX and Tesla and then in the last few weeks we ended up allocating some full-time days to it."
(Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates: This guy's imagination, confidence, and insight leave me feeling angry and confused. So basically his idea is stupid and I'm glad it won't work. I want to ride in a car everywhere. I like cars and this sounds lame. I hope he just shuts up.
schmod: even conventional, low-speed freight rail would have trouble navigating the curves on most interstates.
Amusingly enough, the California HSR budget for the Central Valley is under $10 billion. Ie, in the same ball-park as this proposal. The reason the HSR project is going to cost $60 billion is because it has to face an uncomfortable truth; actually getting to LA and SF is expensive. Very expensive. That's where there's no free land. That's where you have years of property acquisition. In the shorter term, the plan for HSR is to simply share existing tracks, which the Hyperloop can't do.
It’s possible to discover something new, but people who do almost always realize the context of the discovery. If Musk really found a way to build viaducts for $5 million per kilometer, this is a huge thing for civil engineering in general and he should announce this in the most general context of urban transportation, rather than the niche of intercity transportation. If Musk has experiments showing that it’s possible to have sharper turns or faster deceleration than claimed by Transrapid, then he’s made a major discovery in aviation and should announce it as such. That he thinks it just applies to his project suggests he doesn’t really have any real improvement.
entropicamericana: Still, you name me an existing major capital project that was undertaken by the government, and I bet I can find opposition to it when it was proposed, and it would all be same thing (nobody would use it, it costs too much, it will never work, it's ugly, etc). I don't care if we're talking about Boulder Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, or even the Interstate Highway System.
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