Elon Musk's Hyperloop

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
Disappointed by HSR? Check out how transformative Hyperloop could be. Description below and direct Hyperloop blog posting from Elon Musk: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/hyperloop

http://mashable.com/2013/08/12/elon-musk-hyperloop-reveal/

Entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled alpha design plans Monday for his highly-anticipated Hyperloop high-speed transportation system.

Musk first told Bloomberg Businessweek Monday that the solar-powered Hyperloop system will transport people in aluminum pods and cars at speeds up to 800 mph. Businessweek reported the tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart.

"The Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart," Musk wrote in the blog post.

That distance wouldn't be enough to link the 3000-miles between San Francisco with New York City, but could link Northern California with Los Angeles. For longer distances, Musk said "supersonic air travel" would be more efficient.

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Beat me to it! I was going to post it in the high speed rail thread.

I was just thinking how cool it would be if MO got on the bleeding edge a bit. But first we need to change the fact that the state pumps a staggering >1% in to transit.
Would be perfect for STL to KC.
jlh wrote:
Would be perfect for STL to KC.

Sure, and it'd probably be great for any of the proposed HSR city pairs. Of course, this is alpha and I'm not sure how far out this could be implemented, if ever. 10-20 years? HSR seems comparably lame. I say save the $70B and don't build HSR if this is deemed plausible.

Some additional points:
- Not sure if it's an apples to apple's comparison, but there's a $6b cost for Hyperloop as compared to $70b for HSR.
- It travels ~40% faster than commercial airliners (800mph vs. 575mph) and ~320% faster than real HSR (800mph vs. 250mph)!
- It’s meant to be built above ground on pylons that mean it wouldn’t require purchasing of huge tracts of land or uprooting of farms and other infrastructure. (HSR has this problem)
- It also eliminates ambient noise problems, Musk says in his detailed plans, and minimizes derailment risks.
- It’s also self-powered thanks to solar panels placed along the top of the pod-containing tube’s length.
- One potential sour note: Musk says in his prospectus that security checks akin to those made by the TSA at airports would be de rigueur for Hyperloop travel.
innov8ion wrote:
- Not sure if it's an apples to apple's comparison, but there's a $6b cost for Hyperloop as compared to $70b for HSR.
-


:lol:


So suspending hermetically sealed steel tubes on pylons for the full length of the system is cheaper than laying rails on the ground? I love dreaming about the future as much as anyone, but there's no way on this planet that this type of system is cheaper than rail. Didn't monorail designers say the same thing?
bprop wrote:
innov8ion wrote:
- Not sure if it's an apples to apple's comparison, but there's a $6b cost for Hyperloop as compared to $70b for HSR.
-


:lol:


So suspending hermetically sealed steel tubes on pylons for the full length of the system is cheaper than laying rails on the ground? I love dreaming about the future as much as anyone, but there's no way on this planet that this type of system is cheaper than rail. Didn't monorail designers say the same thing?


But look what the monorail did for North Haverbrook!
bprop wrote:

:lol:


So suspending hermetically sealed steel tubes on pylons for the full length of the system is cheaper than laying rails on the ground? I love dreaming about the future as much as anyone, but there's no way on this planet that this type of system is cheaper than rail. Didn't monorail designers say the same thing?


The proposal isn't for a vacuum though so it won't need to be hermetically sealed. The blog post has a link to a 57 page pdf that goes into some detail including cost and construction. Its an interesting read you should check it out.
jlh wrote:
bprop wrote:

:lol:


So suspending hermetically sealed steel tubes on pylons for the full length of the system is cheaper than laying rails on the ground? I love dreaming about the future as much as anyone, but there's no way on this planet that this type of system is cheaper than rail. Didn't monorail designers say the same thing?


The proposal isn't for a vacuum though so it won't need to be hermetically sealed. The blog post has a link to a 57 page pdf that goes into some detail including cost and construction. Its an interesting read you should check it out.


I did. First, it would have to be sealed well enough that "an air leak" (as he puts it) would have to be "overcome" by pumps, or else it's going to use up all its supposed savings in energy costs. So for all intents and purposes, it's sealed.

Second, the fact that he claims, with a straight face, an upfront cost of $6B and a lower operating cost to boot, is absurd. Tell you what, give him $7B and make him responsible for building it....and make sure he doesn't leave the country in the meantime. The guy runs a company whose cheapest car is $70,000, but who claims nonsense like "The overall cost of the interior components is targeted to be no more than $255,000."

I'd compare him to Lyle Lanley as Dweebe alluded to, but at least he's not actually pitching the idea yet.

This may as well be just another schlocky cover on Popular Mechanics. Also, flying cars are just around the corner.

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I think Elon Musk is one of the truly great engineers of our time and both Tesla and SpaceX support that statement. I do not support the numbers within the design of hyper loop but I think your attacking of Tesla is misguided at best and a typical Detroit automotive misinformation ploy. I own a Tesla and it is a fantastic car. It's performance and operating cost are better than were advertised when I bought the car earlier this year.
tech840 wrote:
I think Elon Musk is one of the truly great engineers of our time and both Tesla and SpaceX support that statement. I do not support the numbers within the design of hyper loop but I think your attacking of Tesla is misguided at best and a typical Detroit automotive misinformation ploy. I own a Tesla and it is a fantastic car. It's performance and operating cost are better than were advertised when I bought the car earlier this year.


Well seeing as how the only thing I, um, "attacked" in my two Detroit-style uninformative posts was the "numbers within the design of the hyper loop," I'm glad we agree.
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tech840 wrote:
I think Elon Musk is one of the truly great engineers of our time and both Tesla and SpaceX support that statement. I do not support the numbers within the design of hyper loop but I think your attacking of Tesla is misguided at best and a typical Detroit automotive misinformation ploy. I own a Tesla and it is a fantastic car. It's performance and operating cost are better than were advertised when I bought the car earlier this year.


Agreed! Based on what I've seen from him so far at Tesla and SpaceX, I'm really intrigued by this concept. (And I bet that Tesla is pretty fun to drive as well!) 8)
The real potential here is to get from South City to the Chesterfield outlets in about 2mins. :)
I used to see pictures like this as a kid and assumed we would all be riding in hover cars in 2 years - 3 tops.

Then I saw a real hovercraft that they would get out at engineering week each year at my college. The guy standing on it steered by shifting his weight. He was barely under control. It was extremely loud and it blew dust into everyone's face.

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It's an interesting concept but even the designer won't go past calling it "speculative". I think it's a little early to throw the rest of our infrastructure improvement plans in the bin. Unless someone wants to commit to a near-term plan to build one in Missouri, it probably doesn't have any bearing on anything else we're doing.
Musk has stated that, between operating Tesla and SpaceX, he simply doesn't have time to pursue the Hyperloop's construction and therefore has released the preliminary schematics to the public in hopes that someone would come along and develop it based on his ideas. And of course, some other guy's now stating the idea was originally his from the mid 1990s.

CNBC's talking heads, meanwhile, have stated that they believe $7-10B could be fundraised should Musk lead a group to get the LA-SFO route built down the I-5, under the idea that it could pay for itself within 20 years of operations.

It's a fascinating concept and seems plausibly viable. But, I don't see this being built out of STL anytime soon. Sure would like it, though, but I'll be happy to take HSR to Chicago first.
gary kreie wrote:
I used to see pictures like this as a kid and assumed we would all be riding in hover cars in 2 years - 3 tops.


There was an IBM commercial in 2000 where actor Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) talked about being promised flying cars and demanding his flying car NOW.
Hyperloop proposal: Bad joke or attempt to sabotage California HSR project?

Fantastic right? The future is here! Problem is, taking a look at the documents that came with the announcement, it seems to be a fantastic joke. Those claims do not appear to be true - his own proposal doesn't even get close to supporting them.
New Super-Fast Transport System Powered By Passengers' Screams

SAN FRANCISCO—Entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled his plans Monday for a revolutionary Hyperloop transportation system, which would seat riders in vacuum-like tubes, launch them from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and would be powered solely by the screams of its terrified passengers.


link
innov8ion wrote:
jlh wrote:
Would be perfect for STL to KC.

Sure, and it'd probably be great for any of the proposed HSR city pairs. Of course, this is alpha and I'm not sure how far out this could be implemented, if ever. 10-20 years? HSR seems comparably lame. I say save the $70B and don't build HSR if this is deemed plausible.

Some additional points:
- Not sure if it's an apples to apple's comparison, but there's a $6b cost for Hyperloop as compared to $70b for HSR.
- It travels ~40% faster than commercial airliners (800mph vs. 575mph) and ~320% faster than real HSR (800mph vs. 250mph)!
- It’s meant to be built above ground on pylons that mean it wouldn’t require purchasing of huge tracts of land or uprooting of farms and other infrastructure. (HSR has this problem)
- It also eliminates ambient noise problems, Musk says in his detailed plans, and minimizes derailment risks.
- It’s also self-powered thanks to
solar panel placed along the top of the pod-containing tube’s length.
- One potential sour note: Musk says in his prospectus that security checks akin to those made by the TSA at airports would be de
rigueur for Hyperloop travel
.

nice comparison but still we need detailed one.. I will try to find some more vital points and then share my own comparision..
There are many problems with Musk's Tube, some of which are unique.
1) Right of way. High speed rail will require a track to run and that is often the most difficult with any project. That is why running faster trains on existing ROW is attractive. This becomes exceptionally difficult in urban areas where the cost and litigation involved in taking ROW is increased geometrically.

2) Crossings. High speed rail or tube needs to be separated from typical road and wildlife crossings. This means either elevating or depressing the transportation. Most of Europe HSR uses depressed ROW where there are open trenches that the trains run in. In Japan they typically use elevated lines. Both would work for HSR or Tube.

3) Make up air/power. For a pressurized tube you would need to have as closed a system as possible. The more leaks you have the more air you have to add to the system. For the volume of air we are talking about you will need large pumps which will require a lot of power. Then you need to either space the pumps out or provide a way to add air periodically along the length. This is the biggest problem since maintenance becomes an issue (see #4).

4) Maintenance. Cost of any system needs to include maintenance. For a pressure vessel you will need either welded steel/alum sections or gaskets. Welds last longer but are exponentially more expensive or you need gaskets of rubber/clay to seal the sections.

5) Speed & stops. Do you want fast HSR & Tubes? If yes, then they need to stay at top speed for as long as possible. For KC/STL route this would mean likely zero stops in Columbia, Jeff City, etc. Using this you become more like the airlines and could achieve a competitive time table. StL to KC in 2 hours is easy with rail that doesn't stop. StL to Chicago is even easier.

6) Grade & slope. Rail & tubes need to run straight and flat.

All of this basically says that for the tube to be cost effective it would need to be buried. There, concrete sections could be sealed and the earth would act as a secondary barrier to keep the tubes pressurized. This means you're looking for areas with deep soft soil which would preclude a StL to KC route.

Someone please tell me I'm wrong.
Is St. Louis a natural hub for this? Could we just bore under central Illinois and show up in Indy?

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When JFK proclaimed we were going to the moon, there were a fair share of naysayers as well. And look at what the space program did for our nation. It created advances in many domains that benefit us to this day.

I think it's sad that under Obama, we're pushing for HSR which is only HSR in sheep's clothing. Whatever happened to our nation's spirit of innovation? For crying out loud, it needs to be rekindled.

It's healthy to raise concerns and be critical but with the right alignment and resources, hurdles can likely be overcome to make Hyperloop a reality.
innov8ion wrote:
I think it's sad that under Obama, we're pushing for HSR which is only HSR in sheep's clothing. Whatever happened to our nation's spirit of innovation?

In a word, "conservatives". We'll never accomplish anything, so long as half of the political class is convinced that accomplishing anything would prove that socialism works and thereby disprove their own beliefs.
MarkHaversham wrote:
innov8ion wrote:
I think it's sad that under Obama, we're pushing for HSR which is only HSR in sheep's clothing. Whatever happened to our nation's spirit of innovation?

In a word, "conservatives". We'll never accomplish anything, so long as half of the political class is convinced that accomplishing anything would prove that socialism works and thereby disprove their own beliefs.


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