Designers behind the Evacuated Tube Transport (ET3) system say people could travel around the world in less than six hours through a network of elevated tubes.
The system could see ‘car sized passenger capsules travel in 1.5m diameter tubes on frictionless maglev’.
Air is ‘permanently removed from the two-way tubes that are built along a travel route. Airlocks at stations allow transfer of capsules without admitting air’.
Linear electric motors accelerate the capsules, which then coast through the vacuum for the remainder of the trip ‘using no additional power’. Most of the energy is regenerated as the capsules slow down, the designers said.
The pressurised vehicles are able to accommodate up to half a tonne of cargo or up to 6 passengers.
ET3 ‘can provide 50 times more transportation per kWh than electric cars or trains’, according to ET3’s creators.
Speed in initial ET3 systems would be 600km/h (370 mph) for in-state trips, and could be developed to 6,500 km/h (4,000 mph) for international travel that ‘will allow passenger or cargo travel from New York to Beijing in 2 hours’.
Designers said ET3 can be built for 1/10th the cost of high speed rail, or 1/4th the cost of a motorway.