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Hyperloop design could link LA and San Francisco in 30 minutes

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Designs for the long-awaited ‘Hyperloop’ concept by billionaire Elon Musk have finally been released – sparking the imagination of science and transportation buffs around the world.

Having dropped hints about the concept over the past couple of months, Musk finally unveiled Hyperloop yesterday (August 12).

Musk believes the design’s ‘low-pressure system’ overcomes the flaws of previous evacuated tube concepts, allowing the solar-powered passenger pods to travel on a current of air at speeds of around 700 mph.

Launching Hyperloop, Musk said in a paper: “When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too.

“How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?”

Setting out the advantages of Hyperloop, Musk said that each pod would be capable of transporting 28 passengers from LA to San Francisco in just 30 minutes, with a series of tunnels and pylons built to carry the tube network.

Photo: Elon Musk.
Photo: Elon Musk.

At $6 billion, Hyperloop would also be cheaper than implementing high-speed rail, according the design brief.

One of the key features of the design is an electric compressor fan on the front of each pod which would help overcome air flow issues by transferring high-pressure air from the front to the rear of the capsule.

Musk also believes his system would be less destructive than traditional rail and road options.

He said: “Even when the Hyperloop path deviates from the highway, it will cause minimal disruption to farmland roughly comparable to a tree or telephone pole, which farmers deal with all the time.

“A ground based high speed rail system by comparison needs up to a 100 ft wide swath of dedicated land to build up foundations for both directions, forcing people to travel for several miles just to get to the other side of their property.”


  1. Can you please not perpetuate such poppycock? SF-LA in 30 minutes for US$6B? Who is kidding whom here? ROW costs alone would be at least equivalent to HSR, and the seismic issues…


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