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LA To NYC In Under An Hour, Hyperloop System Will Let You Travel At 4,000 MPH


The Evil Genius

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While we might not see something like this in our lifetime, the idea of it being built or conceptualized for the near future is pretty dang cool.

 

http://www.industrytap.com/la-to-nyc-in-under-an-hour-hyperloop-system-will-let-you-travel-at-4000-mph/10194

 

 

5470-elon-musk-s-hyperloop-train-could-t

 

Commuting is a way of life for most Bay Area residents. Many people are accustomed to an hour commute each way without traffic. Some people even commute to Southern California several times a month, spending several hours each way either in the car or fighting through airports. What if there was an alternative to flights and car rides? If it was up to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a Colorado company, an answer could come sooner than we think.

 

Hyperloop System

Musk, the man behind both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has spoken about a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, a tube transport system that would allow passengers to travel at high speeds. The proposed system could reduce trips between San Francisco and Los Angeles to minutes, and reaching the East Coast from California could take under an hour. Crazy as it seems, the company ET3, based out of Longmont, Colorado, has already been hard at work making this a reality, calling their project the Evacuated Tube Transport.

 

How Does It Work?

The Hyperloop has been vaguely described by Musk as a “cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table.” A better description might be an elevated tube system with a magnetic levitation system similar to high-speed bullet trains. The kicker would be the enclosed tube, which would provide a nearly friction-less surface for individual capsules to travel in.

 

ET3′s Hyperloop-like project already has a number of schematics and plans already in place. They claim an automobile-sized, six-passenger capsule constructed for “outer space” travel conditions could easily reach speeds of 4,000 miles per hour on longer journeys across the country or across continents. In theory, this elevated tube system could be built for a tenth of the cost of high-speed rail and a quarter the cost of a freeway. The projected cost for a passenger to travel from Los Angeles to New York is $100.

 

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Awesome.  I drive almost 45 minutes to work each way.  Would be pretty neat to live in a very cost friendly area in PA like I do now and commute to LA to make the big bucks hah.  "Don't worry hunny I'll be at the restaurant at 6, I'm leaving LA in about 10 minutes"

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how are costs 1/10nth of high speed rail?

 

I like this in the comments

 

Eric on

July 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm

said:
                                                    

                        
                    

                    

This whole concept is totally
ludicrous. 4000 mph is equivalent for Mach 5.25, which is 25% faster
than any aircraft has ever flown including the SR-71


At Mach 3 and higher you reach “hypersonic” speeds which induce
thermal heating that would incinerate any standard metal unless you were
in a complete vacuum. I would love to see a vacuum chamber the
diameter and length of the United States! Running vacuum chambers
usually requires incredibly large vacuum pumps that would take hours to
decompress — so the train wouldnt be ready to go for a long time after
the doors to the bullet train closes.


Even if you were in a vacuum, it would take on the order of 20-30
minutes to reach speeds of 4000 mph (from energy and G-force application
to passengers), and another 20-30 minutes to slow down, and a total of
116 Gigajoules of energy just in kinetic energy for a standard light
rail. For a 1 hour trip, assuming 20% efficiency (which is very high),
this requires 160 MegaWatts of electrical power for the 1-hr duration of
the trip.


Don’t get your hopes up. The physics just doesn’t work. It’s much
more practical to jump from city to city on a rocket with a suborbital
vehicle (and THIS can get you from place to place in an hour no
problem).

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IIRC I read about something similar and it actually was proposed to be in a vacuum. If that's the plan with this one (I can't see any other way, really...only way to eliminate enough air friction to get up to those speeds without ridiculous amounts of energy) then you can forget about it. Like the comment in twa's post said...not economically feasible and it isn't realistic from an engineering standpoint either. The first tiny malfunction and you have a 200 ton bullet going 4,000 mph on your hands with enough kinetic energy to wipe out a town if it went off the rails and hit.

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IIRC I read about something similar and it actually was proposed to be in a vacuum. If that's the plan with this one (I can't see any other way, really...only way to eliminate enough air friction to get up to those speeds without ridiculous amounts of energy) then you can forget about it. Like the comment in twa's post said...not economically feasible and it isn't realistic from an engineering standpoint either. The first tiny malfunction and you have a 200 ton bullet going 4,000 mph on your hands with enough kinetic energy to wipe out a town if it went off the rails and hit.

Yet he claims safer, cheaper and even energy savings....details would be nice

of course cheaper than Cali H/S rail isn't saying much,he probably left the bribes and graft out of his figures

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I've found the original paper by Salter in 1972 on which this idea is based:

 

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/papers/2008/P4874.pdf

 

Yes, they were planning to evacuate the air in the tube.   I don't know how difficult keeping it evacuated would be ... but opening the train doors should not be a problem with a simple airlock.   

 

Going faster than airplanes isn't really remarkable with the proposed design, as the would be evacuated and the friction would be near zero.   You know, Newton's First and Second Laws and all.

 

Assuming it worked, I can definitely see it being more energy efficient as you don't need much if any to sustain the speed once the thing is accelerated, unlike an aircraft which needs continual thrust to keep it in the air - you just need the energy to for acceleration and deceleration.   The longer the trip, the less you need to accelerate/decelerate.

 

The original proposal by Salter called it being built underground.  This is probably prohibitive for a really long route, though some sections would definitely need to be underground in mountainous areas, but we have done this for over a century with trains.   

 

When you consider the Trans-Alaskan oil pipeline, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Alaska_Pipeline_System, I woudln't  completely write off building a coast-to-coast route if they can get the construction cost-per-mile to where it would be economical.

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But how do you make it safe? So many damn things could go wrong and at such energy levels and speeds you can't afford even the tiniest malfunction. A little crack in the tube and, best case scenario, only the people in the train would die and not a ton of people where it crashed.

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But how do you make it safe? So many damn things could go wrong and at such energy levels and speeds you can't afford even the tiniest malfunction. A little crack in the tube and, best case scenario, only the people in the train would die and not a ton of people where it crashed.

I'd be more worried about the vehicle losing pressure, a crack in the tube would probably just slow it

perhaps there is a happy median between vacuum levels and speed/energy needs

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But how do you make it safe? So many damn things could go wrong and at such energy levels and speeds you can't afford even the tiniest malfunction. A little crack in the tube and, best case scenario, only the people in the train would die and not a ton of people where it crashed.

 

No form of travel is completely safe.  In the US around http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year'>30,000 people per year die in vehicle crashes

 Without looking it up, I think its around dozen , average per year, for airplane crashes(restricted to big commerical flights not small plane flights) and train derailments, and we consider those acceptable losses

But how do you make it safe? So many damn things could go wrong and at such energy levels and speeds you can't afford even the tiniest malfunction. A little crack in the tube and, best case scenario, only the people in the train would die and not a ton of people where it crashed.

I'd be more worried about the vehicle losing pressure, a crack in the tube would probably just slow it

perhaps there is a happy median between vacuum levels and speed/energy needs

Airplanes and submarines are under heavy pressure differentials and that is largely not a problem 

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both have the ability to rapidly change that pressure DC Saints

 

but having the saliva on your tongue boil might be kinda cool.  :)

 

http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970603.html

 

You're concerned mainly about the effects on the passengers of a sudden cabin pressure loss?   Don't airplanes have the same problem, and thats why they have those deployable masks?   

 

Also, you could divide the train into compartments, so a loss of pressure in one compartment would not depressurize the whole train. 

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I totally understand and share the skepticism.  But, at the same time, Elon Musk is a straight-up genius and a visionary CEO of a rare order.  Doubters of such people have been proven wrong many many times before, and will be many times again. 

 

So, I'll "wait and see."  It sure sounds interesting.

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airplanes rapidly descend and are not at 0

 

http://www.physics.org/facts/air-atmospheric-pressure.asp

 

If you were ever unfortunate enough to find yourself in a vacuum, you’d quickly notice that you were starting to bloat as the small pockets of air trapped inside your body, free from the pressing constraints of atmospheric pressure, expand. Then your ear drums would rupture. And since gases escape from liquids much more easily at lower pressures, the liquids in your body would start to boil. Imagine experiencing the saliva on your tongue coming to the boil. There is some good news though – you wouldn’t actually explode as your skin is far too elastic to rupture and in any case, you’d pass out from lack of oxygen before you got to see your blood boiling.

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My grandfather worked with the DoD in the 50's, 60's and 70's, and he told me years ago of the project he worked on which involved vacuum tubes and mag lev trains. It was his opinion that the government had gone ahead and built a secret emergency train of this sort, but only on a short distance, perhaps serving to either quickly transport nuclear missiles from one place to another (moving them was so important as a deterrent, our government once proposed lugging them around the country on railroads 24/7 to go along with our force of B-52s which were basically flying round the clock for years), or perhaps serving to quickly evacuate personnel from an important target such as the White House or Pentagon.

 

So its possible we built something like this long ago, though the proposals he saw were ones which wanted to rev the train up to the more modest speed of perhaps 500-800 mph since the proposed tube lengths weren't, you know, the width of this country.

 

Anyway, it is my opinion that we'll have the freaking Star Trek transporter before we ever get a vacuum tube mag lev spanning the nation. It would be so worthless in a civil capacity anyway. It would take years to build, the slightest mistake would kill everyone and likely explode some small town in Kansas or something, not to mention the fact that it would basically serve to transport what...30, 60, 100 people at a time? Even if it transported 300 people at once, what do you imagine the DAILY number of Americans flying east to west is?

 

I think I read one time that on average, 20 flights per day go between London and New York which isn't even giving mention to D.C. to London, Baltimore to London, Boston to London. Let's say that about 350 passengers are on board 777s going back and forth. That would average out to about 7,000 people per day and that's trans-atlantic, not across the U.S. Granted it takes a long time to fly vs. 4,000 mph vacuum tube, but I doubt a train could carry such a load along with cargo, etc.

 

The threat of someone messing with or even attacking an airliner at 30,000+ feet is far lower than the risk of someone attacking a de-pressurized tube sitting on or even under the ground. Then there exists the problem of getting it up to speed safely, slowing it down, dealing with gravity, etc. it just doesn't make any sense.

 

This makes me think of zeppelins. The designs and heyday occurred when technology which transported way more people/material and made a lot more sense economically already existed (ships). In that case, a ship could make it across the Atlantic in about 4 days. It took Zeppelins the same if not longer to cross. Sure this train concept would be faster, but it would be pretty pointless in a number of ways.

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