Super-Fast ‘Hyper-loop’ Train Gets Test Track in California
The “Hyper-loop,” a hypothetical high-speed transportation system that could shuttle people between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only 30 minutes which is very close to reality.
This was first proposed in 2013 by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, the Hyper-loop would transport passengers in floating pods inside low-pressure tubes at speeds of more than 760 mph (1,200 km/h) using energy derived from the sun .
“The technology could cut the Los Angeles-San Francisco travel time to 30 minutes and would be ideal for such medium-distance jaunts”, said Musk.
The Hyper-loop would accelerate pods — each about 6.5 feet (2 meters) wide — through a low-pressure tube from Point X to Point Y. These pods would ride not on rails or wheels but rather a cushion of air, greatly reducing the friction of the system.
The idea is, passenger pods will travel inside tubes under a partial vacuum, and will be accelerated to blistering speeds using magnets. A set of fans attached to the pods will allow the train to rest on a cushion of air. The system would be powered by solar panels along the length of the tube. These pods would be accelerated up to near-supersonic speeds by linear electric motors like those used by Tesla. But the source of energy for this system would be the sun.
“There’s actually way more surface area on the top of the tube [for solar panels] than you really need,” Musk said.
The Hyper-loop invention to California’s costs around $70 billion high-speed rail system, which is too expensive, inefficient and slow. He thinks a Los Angeles to San Francisco Hyper-loop line could be built for about $6 billion which is a best experience for passengers who travel.
These pods are designed to be light, the tube would be mounted above ground on pylons, reducing construction costs, improving earthquake safety and easing right-of-way issues, Musk said.
The cost to build the world’s first test track in central California is of $ 100 million (£64,900,000) says Hyper-loop Transportation Technologies.
An engineer says, on a 160 km track, the train could hit 745 mph; however, the train has the potential to reach 4,040 mph. That could take us from New York to China in two hours.
‘The whole system is vulnerable to a single-point failure,’ James Powell (co-inventor of the superconducting magnetic levitation) says.
“It would actually be a lot like travelling in an air-plane, there’d be initial acceleration, and once you’re travelling at speed, you wouldn’t really notice the speed at all.” says Musk.
“I don’t really care much one way or the other if I have any economic outcome here. But it would be cool to see a new form of transport happen.” He says.
If HTT (Hyper-loop Transportation Technologies) proves that humans can be transported safely at such speeds, it could be a great deal for the people who travel and also provoke others, including governments, to invest on this beautiful invention by Musk.