DailyDirt: Faster Than A Locomotive...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The hyperloop idea that Elon Musk announced to the public is making some baby steps towards becoming a reality. Okay, so no one is talking about how any kind of new train system still needs to get land use rights and political approval, but the technology is inching its way towards becoming more than just an idea on paper. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Filed Under: elon musk, high speed rail, hyperloop, inductrack, magnetic levitation, magnets, transportation, vactrain
Companies: hendo, hyperloop one, hyperloop transportation technologies


Reader Comments

The First Word

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 5:53pm

    Sounds like a waste of time & money when you could get the same performance by rubbing an old diesel-electric with cheetah blood.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 12 May 2016 @ 6:38pm

    I Should Hope ...

    ... that all the engineers working on these projects are using standard SI units like metres and kilometres rather than miles for their measurements. After all, you wouldn’t want a repeat of the Mars Climate Orbiter fiasco, would you? Only with people in the vehicles, the consequences would be worse than merely expensive and embarrassing...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 8:13pm

      Re: I Should Hope ...

      If there are any computer systems involved, it will behoove the programmers to validate the code and make sure that these errors aren't there.

      I have met too many programmers who don't have a clue about unit transformations or even numerical analysis or even understanding the concept of significant digits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TRX (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 7:22pm

    Vacuum isn't cheap, and it's hard to maintain. You'd be pumping all the time, which is a continuous expense, and if the vacuum was breached it would take a *long* time to lower the pressure to something practical.

    The vehicle part is trivial; the vacuum tunnel... it's *possible*, but I'd be very surprised if they could deliver passengers for the same price the Concorde used to charge.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 7:29pm

    > has tested an open air demo of its prototype train

    They tested a linear induction motor. These have been around for over a century and have been used in maglev trains since the mid-1980s.

    NOT in the demo: The train, and the evacuated tubes it runs in. The test was one step beyond a PowerPoint presentation to wow investors.

    A serious test will include not just an actual train running in an actual evacuated tube, but a demonstration of the pressure doors that let the train move at high speed between non-pressurized (passenger loading) sections and pressurized sections of the tube. And the emergency braking system used at 700mph when a door doesn't open.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 8:17pm

      Re:

      These things are easy to do as long as the marketing types don't have a say. Dead man switches are the norm today or at least should be, in any sensible country that is (the USA would probably be the exception, but we all know that they are cowboys by letting the marketing zombies get involved).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 7:35pm

    People by Pipeline

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 12 May 2016 @ 8:15pm

      Re: People by Pipeline

      So, only a handful every year? Not bad! Much better than accidents in current transportation methods.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 May 2016 @ 8:18pm

      Re: People by Pipeline

      Well I did say above that the USA are cowboys (in the negative sense, nothing against actual cowboys or cowgirls who have some real skills).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 May 2016 @ 10:24am

      Re: People by Pipeline

      So you're picturing something more like Futurama, where a pipeline rupture results in people being spewed all over the landscape until the pipe is shut down?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 11:08am

        Re: Re: People by Pipeline

        No, I'm thinking of - if not a backhoe since these are to be above-ground - then a truck with insufficient overhead clearance denting the tube. Or the vacuum denting a weak tube. Or a wash-out taking out a supporting post and bending a tube.

        All of which will be best viewed from a distance when a train - with no real wiggle-room inside the tube - hits it at 700mph.

        Also that train is designed to NOT touch the rails at 700M but instead float above them. If there's a mere air leak, the train unexpectedly hitting full air pressure at 700mph, chanced are it's going to experience some uneven forces pushing it into the rails or the walls of the tube. Wear eye protection.

        None of this is at all insurmountable. But a commercial hyperloop system is no more "a couple years off" than Virgin Galactic's passenger flights were "a couple years off" after SpaceShipOne's flights in 2004.

        Less even, since we haven't had a SpaceShipOne-equivalent hyperloop test yet. This week's Hyperloop One demo was the equivalent of a bench-test of a sub-scale engine with no spaceship.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 7:26am

    Okay, so no one is talking about how any kind of new train system still needs to get land use rights and political approval

    It always surprises me, and depresses me just a little, to see people say things like this. "Yeah, the Hyperloop sounds like a good idea, except for how they aren't considering [insert incredibly obvious thing here]."

    Does anyone really believe that? Does any rational person truly think that you can get together hundreds of very smart engineers to solve a specific problem, and they'll somehow all overlook something so obvious than John Q. Random Outsider notices it in an instant?

    Simply because they're not discussing land use deals and political approval in public--because the relevant negotiations are still underway--doesn't mean it's not happening.

    Also, some people actually are talking about it publicly.

    For example, HTT (the company that didn't just waste a bunch of time and money on a publicity stunt sending a pod up to an astounding 100 MPH--which my car could match without breaking a sweat--out in the middle of nowhere) is working on building an actual, functioning Hyperloop in Quay Valley, CA, with construction expected to begin later this year and opening for business by 2018.

    They've also announced a major deal to build Hyperloops to connect several major European cities. This is something that's really happening, a lot faster than most people realize!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 9:22am

      Re:

      > is working on building an actual, functioning Hyperloop in Quay Valley, CA, with construction expected to begin later this year

      But almost certainly won't. The plan depends on finding someone to fund it. In a futuristic town that has also yet to - and may not - start construction.

      > They've also announced a major deal to build Hyperloops to connect several major European cities. This is something that's really happening,

      Nope. They've announced a deal to **study** building Hyperloops to connect several major European cities. Meaning that the Slovakian government has committed to read their PowerPoint presentation, nothing more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 11:57am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah. When I said this is really happening a lot faster than most people realize... apparently you're "most people".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 3:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Most people" being those who don't believe fantasy claims used to con gullible investors.

          Not only are they not building that hyperloop in Quay Valley - it's just a proposal looking for funding at this point - but Quay Valley itself doesn't exist. It too is just a proposal looking for funding.

          Likewise your "major deal to build Hyperloops to connect several major European cities" just doesn't exist. All that's been announced is a plan to study the idea.

          No-one has built even the most rudimentary hyperloop system - not even a scale working model with loading/unloading/etc.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      It always surprises me, and depresses me just a little, to see people say things like this. "Yeah, the Hyperloop sounds like a good idea, except for how they aren't considering [insert incredibly obvious thing here]."

      Does anyone really believe that? Does any rational person truly think that you can get together hundreds of very smart engineers to solve a specific problem, and they'll somehow all overlook something so obvious than John Q. Random Outsider notices it in an instant?

      Simply because they're not discussing land use deals and political approval in public--because the relevant negotiations are still underway--doesn't mean it's not happening.


      Yes, we do believe it because we've seen it over and over and over and over and over...

      For example, when Houston started on their light rail project, they forgot completely about land rights. Buying said rights was done at the last second, and therefore at a HUGE markup - to the tune of several BILLION dollars. If they had thought ahead like us John Q. Random Outsiders, they'd have bought the land rights quietly on the side WAY ahead of time, not the day before work was supposed to start.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vinquus (profile), 13 May 2016 @ 7:44am

    Faster Than A Locomotive!

    More powerful than tall buildings!
    Able to leap speeding bullets in a single bound!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.