# I might have been wrong on high speed rail

#### Smeagol

DP Veteran
Tesla Motors electric car founder Elon Musk has a new high speed air tube idea he's calling "Hyperloop" in the works. Its modeled after the drive-thru banking transaction tubes but bigger and will carry people, not checks and deposit slips. The engineering says it will be four times as fast as high speed rail and (if my fuzzy math is right), less than 1/10th the cost. Imagine a ground transportation grid that's faster than flying, uses no petroleum and actually generates electricity as it operates the has the additional benefit of feeding electricity back to the power grid. (That last part might violate the law on perpetual motion but, we'll see) Fuzzy Math again, but if my calculations are right, he thinks it would get from Los Angeles to New York in about 3 hours. New York to Miami in an hour and a half.

Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes | firstcoastnews.com

The engineering says it will be four times as fast as high speed rail and (if my fuzzy math is right), less than 1/10th the cost. Imagine a ground transportation grid that's faster than flying, uses no petroleum and actually generates electricity as it operates the has the additional benefit of feeding electricity back to the power grid.

It may generate electricity, but there is already some form of energy that is being used to create all this motion. I'm also skeptical of cost when they report things like this. 1/10th the cost compared to what and what costs are they including in that figure?

There is obviously cost in producing the method on which is travels and the "generation" of electricity is simply just a small recovery of that energy being use.

Now don't get me wrong, I like things such as this because in my view even if the cost is somewhat higher than oil it's still domestically produced versus foreign produced.

I'm not holding my breath on this one - a \$trillion plus tube, forget how many you'd need to make it viable, and non-stop from coast to coast.

Two practical things immediately come to mind for me:

1. Do you just piss/crap in your seat? Every passenger gets fitted with Depends? Crapper in the base of the seat? I'm stuck three hours in a closed tube with someone who just finished off a half-dozen spicy burritos? No thanks.

2. Ever been stuck on the subway when the train stops mid-tunnel because of some malfunction? Stuck in a closed in tube somewhere over Oklahoma doesn't sound like fun to me. And to be clear, those banking tubes get jammed or malfunction lots of times.

It may generate electricity, but there is already some form of energy that is being used to create all this motion. I'm also skeptical of cost when they report things like this. 1/10th the cost compared to what and what costs are they including in that figure?

There is obviously cost in producing the method on which is travels and the "generation" of electricity is simply just a small recovery of that energy being use.

Now don't get me wrong, I like things such as this because in my view even if the cost is somewhat higher than oil it's still domestically produced versus foreign produced.

I'm just making an educated guess but I think its more efficient due to limited friction as its designed to travel on air in a closed and controlled environment.

We're living in a really cool time in human history getting to see all these ideas unfold. Up until about 150 years ago with a few exceptions, people grew their own food in the back yard, traveled by animal back or on foot for the most part and traveling more that 50 miles from where you were born was a really big deal sometimes meaning you don't expect to ever see your loved ones again.

I'm just making an educated guess but I think its more efficient due to limited friction as its designed to travel on air in a closed and controlled environment.

Well there are different measures of efficiency. Is it faster? Yes, so it is more efficient in that manner. Is the generation of the method it will use to travel more efficient? Don't know, haven't seen what is required of that yet.

We're living in a really cool time in human history getting to see all these ideas unfold. Up until about 150 years ago with a few exceptions, people grew their own food in the back yard, traveled by animal back or on foot for the most part and traveling more that 50 miles from where you were born was a really big deal sometimes meaning you don't expect to ever see your loved ones again.

I agree with you there that it is an exciting time. I'm just skeptical of claims made to efficiency by this without seeing all the evidence and cost involved in the generation of the method used.

Wonder what is wrong at Tesla that he is suddenly all up into this to distract the geek media--sounds like the life boats are being deployed and he is making room for his cultist investors to come along for the ride. :coffeepap

Its definitely an interesting idea, but how would these tubes be held up. You would have to have them going through towns even major city's for the most direct routes and that will cost money to find places to support these tubes. Also thought, it takes a few moneths of training to get air plane pilots ready for speed of sound travel, how are we going to get that same training to the general public.