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Elon Musk’s New Hyperloop Train Just Went 220 MPH, The Vid is Intense

Elon Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ project is s high-speed ‘train’ that hopes to eventually replace America’s old (and extremely slow) rail system.  Initially Musk talked about the Hyperloop trains going 700 MPH, and getting passengers from LA to SF in under 30 minutes.  But currently the train cars in his ‘test tube’ facility underneath Hawthorne Los Angeles are going up to 220 MPH,  (that’s currently the speed limit before train cars start catching fire).  Check Elon’s latest video of the project:

Hyperloop WARR pod run to 201 mph (324 km/h) in 0.8 mile near vacuum tube

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

In a (fireless) hyperloop going 201 MPH you’d get from SF to LA in under 2 hours, which is of course drastically better than Amtrak’s current SF to LA travel time of 13 hours…yes that’s right, if you want to take the train from San Francisco to Los Angeles using our current rail system it takes 13 hours.  That means in California our trains go an average of  29 MPH between our two biggest cities.  I would rather take the hyperloop AND burst into flames than take the current Amtrak option.  GO ELON GO!

Amtrak’s SF to LA train option starts at 745am and ends at 9pm

Amtrak’s President Richard Anderson was asked this week about Musk’s Hperloop project and said, “I don’t think it’s realistic right now.” He continued, “I’m glad there are people like that [who] dream about that. But I’m sort of focused on bridges and tunnels that are 100 years old that need some real infrastructure investment,” said Anderson, who was CEO of Delta Air Lines.

Anderson told CNBC he does not understand how companies “can have real huge losses” and still operate. “I’m probably too much of an old-school industrialist. I tend to look at things like cash flow, return on invested capital, and operating margins, and I don’t always understand how those companies can have huge loses.”

Anderson wasn’t kidding about the ‘100 year old infrastructure’, he sounds a lot like a railroad man circa 1890, in fact trains back then actually moved at around 30MPH as well.  I think it may be time for a little bit of innovation in public transportation, it is high time our trains moved a bit quicker than they did during the Civil War.

Musks’s ‘Hyperloop One’ has above ground testing going on outside of Las Vegas.

The Hyperloop science centers around a sealed tube, allowing a magnetic levitation (or maglev) transportation vehicle to reach high speeds with minimal resistance, thanks to the absence of air resistance in by the tube’s vacuum. The aim is to have Hyperloop trains hit up to 700 MPH eventually.  Although the Musk doesn’t currently have permission to build a complete hyperloop system in California, he did get some vauge verbal permission on the East Coast to begin tunneling for a New York to DC Hyperloop.

Obviously Musks’s ‘Hyperloop One’ and ‘The Boring Company’ have a lot of work to do in order to bring American transportation systems into the 21st century.  If the engineering wasn’t difficult enough, it may take just as much time, money, and manpower to get government approval to implement their ideas…which are pretty lofty.  They are not just envisioning high-speed rail, but a completely new tunnel/road system underneath cities. Musk founded The Boring Company in LA to ‘solve traffic’.  Their  concept video showcases cars using elevators to go underground and being transported on a high-speed rail systems.

However crazy you may think these goals are, it is incredibly important that we do something to improve traffic congestion in California.  If we want to sustain growth and reduce our carbon footprint, we must pursue new and innovative ideas.  Or else we may be stuck moving at 29 MPH for yet another 100 years.

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  • dawdler

    Does that 13 hours to 30 minutes comparison include stops for both routes? Is it apples to apples? Curious.

  • bvee

    why is this better than a plane?

    at 700mph in a vacuum tube, what could possibly go wrong?