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1 Creepy Totalitarianist  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 4:36:50pm

Warehouses used to use vacuum tubes to pass documents between offices. They’d pop the document into a small tube shaped carrier, open a door in the transport tube connecting two offices, load the carrier and then press a button after closing the door. The carrier would whoosh to the target office.

Humans may become those lucky documents and experience the thrill of the whoosh.

2 Decatur Deb  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 4:39:12pm

This is an above-ground version of a monster tunneling project described in a ’60s book “Megaprojects” IIRC. Catch a new idea, X-ers.

3 GeneJockey  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 5:53:25pm

If you build it underground, you have to dig 800 miles of tunnels and seal them, and hope they don’t get cracked from seismic activity.

If you build it aboveground, you risk sabotage, and at 800 mph, you’re talking a bunch of goo on the forward bulkhead.

4 Political Atheist  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 6:27:32pm

I’d love to see this. I ride a subway almost every work day. But hang on a sec. Another claim he makes is a cost 1/10th of conventional high speed rail. Ummm can I see the math on that please? Just the advanced materials make that wildly unlikely. Or put it this way-Do you really want to travel at supersonic velocity right next to a steel wall, riding magnetic fields from yet more metal just inches away?

I’ll ride a train or a plane. But one big reason that plane can go so fast safely is it’s distance from everything else. I don’t want to fly in a 600 mph plane in a tunnel!

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. All together, his alternative would be four times as fast as California’s proposed train, at one-10th the cost. Tickets, Musk says, would be “much cheaper” than a plane ride.

Oh and if it does get built, exceeds or meets every promise, it will be panned as a fail on Top Gear. :-)

5 simoom  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 6:33:17pm

re: #1 b_sharp

Humans may become those lucky documents and experience the thrill of the whoosh.

Sounds good so long as no one gets “borscht” (:P):

Youtube Video
Youtube Video

6 Spocomptonite  Mon, Aug 12, 2013 8:43:10pm

I ride the train a lot between Vancouver, BC and Vancouver, WA. I like the train because, while it doesn’t have a clear time advantage (depending on traffic, it’s about even), I have big comfy chairs to sit in, a dining car with decent food to eat in, and plenty of room to move about and watch the coastline whiz by.

This proposed thing has none of that. It looks like the equivalent of riding in the baggage compartment of an airplane. I’ll pass and continue to put hope in High Speed Rail funding.

7 Decatur Deb  Tue, Aug 13, 2013 8:25:53am

re: #3 GeneJockey

If you build it underground, you have to dig 800 miles of tunnels and seal them, and hope they don’t get cracked from seismic activity.

If you build it aboveground, you risk sabotage, and at 800 mph, you’re talking a bunch of goo on the forward bulkhead.

800? Pfftt. The 60’s idea was NY-LA. If you can’t execute, you’re free to plan BIG.

(The real joy of that project was that by cutting the chord of Earth’s curvature, it was mostly powered by ‘fallling’ towards the center of the Earth, to transonic speed, then coasting up the last half.)


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