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'Hyperloop' would link L.A.-S.F. in 30 mins, if built

By Justin Pritchard

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:31 a.m. HST, Aug 13, 2013

LOS ANGELES » Imagine stepping into a car-sized capsule in downtown Los Angeles and, 30 minutes later, emerging in San Francisco.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk Monday unveiled a transportation concept that he said could whisk passengers the nearly 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes — half the time it takes an airplane.

If it's ever built.

His "Hyperloop" system for travel between major cities would use a large tube. Inside, capsules would float on air, traveling at over 700 mph. The air would be sucked by a powerful fan at the front and expelled at the rear.

"Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment," Musk wrote in his proposal, posted online.

The system Musk envisions is not unlike the pneumatic tubes that transport capsules stuffed with paperwork in older buildings.

In this case, the cargo would be several people, reclining for the ride.

Coming from almost anyone else, the hyperbole would be hard to take seriously. But Musk has a track record of success. He co-founded online payment service PayPal, electric luxury carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. and rocket-building company SpaceX.

Monday's unveiling lived up to the hype part of its name.

Leading up to the unveiling, done on the SpaceX website, online speculation was feverish. Musk has been dropping hints about his system for more than a year during public events, mentioning that it could never crash and would be immune to weather.

During a Tesla earnings call on Thursday, Musk said he is too focused on other projects to consider actually building the Hyperloop.

"I think I kind of shot myself by ever mentioning the Hyperloop," he said. "I don't have any plans to execute, because I must remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla."

He said he would fulfill his commitment to publishing an open-source design, meaning anyone can use it and modify it.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
Amazing. Transportation visionaries look to the future. meanwhile, HART proposes an archaic steel on steel system, stuck in the air to block ocean views, noisy and dirty and intrusive on the environment and costing $5,000 per resident to build.

That sounds bad but now remember that this monstah does not even go where it should. It ignores the 20,000 people who commute to UH daily. It doesn't connect the residential hubs. It goes from a developers pet project to a shopping mall. All at $50,000 per foot.

It gets better. The choo choo will raise City transit costs to 20% of the total budget. It's fare plan (matching the Bus) will guarantee we pay gigantic operating subsidies every year - way more than $130 million we pay now. Then, in a final slap upside the taxpayer head, we get no restrooms but $5 million for favored artists.

Others dream of the future and how to do better. HART looks to the 19th century and spends billions to enrich a few at the cost to many.

on August 12,2013 | 08:31AM
false wrote:
In a nutshell...
on August 12,2013 | 12:18PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
From Business Week:Musk figures the Hyperloop could be built for $6 billion with people-only pods, or $10 billion for the larger pods capable of holding people and cars. ...

And HART needs $5.3 billion for 20 miles to nowhere and $10 billion to complete the route to UH and Kapolei.

on August 12,2013 | 12:25PM
And how much are these rides going to cost. How many passengers can you carry at at time? And where is this "nowhere" people are always talking about? Last time I checked there really is no place like "nowhere".
on August 12,2013 | 12:50PM
localguy wrote:
Musk is a proven professional all the way. HART is a band of Keystone cops who just want more and more money from taxpayers. One will be a success, one will be an endless taxpayer money pit.
on August 12,2013 | 12:55PM
loquaciousone wrote:
NO RESTROOMS? You convinced me..
on August 12,2013 | 12:38PM
That is almost like saying, "you've convinced me in to buying this bathroom cause it has good parking". That is a good selling point for anybody who has to go #2. LOL
on August 12,2013 | 12:52PM
ryan02 wrote:
That's not fair. The Rail will achieve EXACTLY what it was intended to do -- put billions of tax dollars, both federal and state, into the pockets of unions, contractors with the right connections, and ultimately politicians and government employees through kick-backs and jobs as special consultants. The environment, preserving ocean views that tourists expect in Hawaii, minimizing noise, accommodating UH students - there's no evidence the City cared about ANY of those things. I, for one, am confident that the Rail will, ultimately, achieve it's real goals.
on August 12,2013 | 12:46PM
star08 wrote:
The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence it is said. However, in this case, ur cynical realism is probably accurate.
on August 12,2013 | 04:23PM
Your analysis of the train is almost as visionary in its misinformation you have constructed in your explanation. People only see what they want to see whether it is true or not!
on August 12,2013 | 12:48PM
star08 wrote:
This is not a new idea. And, since he is not going to execute, then it will remain just that, an idea, for now. Engineers have been dreaming for years about such an idea. It still remains too visionary for politicians. We gotta think about how our children will survive the next century.
on August 12,2013 | 04:21PM
false wrote:
I believe that a form of magnetic levitation will be disclosed. Sure beats our antique steel on steel project.
on August 12,2013 | 10:04AM
XML808 wrote:
Maybe, as John Gardi speculates, it is a glass tube with a transportation vehicle powered by solar panels with a mag-lev propulsion system.
on August 12,2013 | 10:07AM
FrankGenadio wrote:
If anybody is interested in (near-term) doable high-speed rail transport, I suggest reading "The Fight for Maglev" by James Powell and Gordon Danby (with James Jordan). Powell and Danby hold the patents for both first- and second-generation superconducting maglev (SCM). The Shanghai Transrapid and the approved Japanese Tokyo-to-Osaka system use first-generation SCM. Powell and Danby propose a nationwide (think Interstate Highway System) 300 miles per hour (more efficient and cheaper to operate and maintain) second-generation SCM for both passenger and freight traffic that could be developed and built in the United States and become the "spearhead" of a 21st Century transportation revolution. It not only would create thousands of U.S. jobs but would become a major export product. And you would not have to ride in a vacuum tube.
on August 12,2013 | 12:01PM
localguy wrote:
Musk's concept would be far more energy efficient to operate and build. Magnets are expensive to build, the route would take tens of thousands. Building a tube is very cheap in comparison. Guess which ones unions want to build?
on August 12,2013 | 01:01PM
FrankGenadio wrote:
Perhaps you should re-read the article. Mr. Musk has no plans to go ahead with his concept. Messrs. Powell and Danby would go forward if any political will was shown toward actually improving the nation's infrastructure (i.e., they need "seed money" to build a test track that can demonstrate what they have already proven in the laboratory). Whether or not the tube concept would be more energy efficient or cheaper to build remains to be seen. Musk is talking about small passenger modules. How many would be needed to move as many people as, for example, the current Japanese plan for its 1,000-passenger maglev train? It's also too bad that the City is going ahead with its steel wheels system (and on the wrong route); we could have saved a lot of money with an urban (i.e., medium-speed) maglev that would also have been smoother, safer, and quieter than the (steel wheels) technology that will be two centuries old in the U.S. in the next decade.
on August 12,2013 | 02:55PM
star08 wrote:
His suggestion is really a type of gun. A long tube, relative to its diameter, and a concussive wavefront to propel the "bullet." It is cheap to build a tube yet what are the operational costs of powering a machine that will create such a concussion wave.
on August 12,2013 | 04:26PM
localguy wrote:
Here is a look into Oahu's future if rail is built. http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/bart-strike-2013 Yes, union workers will threaten a strike to demand more pay. Best thing for Oahu is to not use union workers to operate rail when and if it is completed. Better to use a contracted service where cost can be better managed. Keeping it out of the ongoing multibillion pension shortage now facing the state.
on August 12,2013 | 12:53PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Or This:

"Metro derailed by culture of complacence, incompetence, lack of diversity ‘Inept get promoted, … capable get buried’"


on August 12,2013 | 03:54PM
blkdrgn wrote:
I'm guessing they don't like the steel on steel rail system?
on August 12,2013 | 01:03PM
bully106 wrote:
i find it hilarious that it takes that long to get on the freeway to honolulu from makakilo heights on school day mornings. would love the chance to be a passenger in the darn thing!
on August 12,2013 | 01:09PM
Heart wrote:
My only concern with this plan (and it's a big one) is that this tube would be built parallel to one of the world's most active seismic fault lines. What happens when, while I'm being whisked along at 700 mph, an earthquake causes the tube sections to become misaligned? Can the system be built to withstand California's numerous tremblors?
on August 12,2013 | 01:17PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
You would also need to worry about who/what the tube line would displace. At the speed this thing would purportedly travel, turning is going to be problematic (understatement). Draw a straight line between the SF station and the LA station and there's your tube line...anyone on that line is going to have issues.
on August 12,2013 | 01:39PM
HIE wrote:
Note that "Resistant to Earthquakes" is part of Musk's checklist of necessities: "If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive. Compared to the alternatives, it should ideally be: • Safer • Faster • Lower cost • More convenient • Immune to weather • Sustainably self-powering • Resistant to Earthquakes • Not disruptive to those along the route"
on August 12,2013 | 03:17PM
Aquarius1 wrote:
I would love to see something like this come to fruition. Better than having your cells scambled and morphing into The Fly.
on August 12,2013 | 01:17PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Yeah, but, young Geena Davis...
on August 12,2013 | 01:39PM
Tony96822 wrote:
Lucky you live Hawaii
on August 12,2013 | 02:57PM
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