Monday, December 20, 2021

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Includes Funding for Hyperloop Transportation

When most of us think of alternate transportation, we thing of electric cars, bicycles and the bus.  Although electric cars are coming down in price, they may consume more energy than they save. I love bicycles, but they are out at this time of year for candy-asses like myself. A bus is great, but only if you live close to the route. If you have to transfer a few times to make your destination, you might as well drive. Fortunately, there's funding for a new kind of alternate transportation in the recently passed infrastructure bill.  No, it's  not a Jetsons' car. It's called the hyperloop.   

I think it's ridiculous to throw money at an inefficient and outdated Amtrak. It's equally stupid to pour more funds into widening highways to create even more carbon emissions while exacerbating existing gridlock. 

A hyperloop is a new form of passenger and freight transportation that would carry people and cargo in pods through low-pressure tunnels very much like the one you might have used at your bank's drive-thru. It could be above or below ground and could reach speeds of up to 700 mph while using about 1/10th the energy.

According to the Department of Energy, a system like this would be most useful in areas where demand would be high and in which there already is a high traffic volume. For example, a trip from Allentown to NYC or Philly could work, but not with multiple stops along the way.  

The only question I have is why isn't this in place already?  


Anonymous said...

One of the biggest problems is that 700 mph is only practical in a vacuum tube.
Maintaining that is extremely difficult and expensive.
Each car would have to be sealed to a higher degree than aircraft along with each station.
Another is accel and decel times. gotta keep G forces at a reasonable level.
A better use would be improve roads and run robotic electric trucks along with electric rail.
increase port capacity on the East Coast and stop driving a truck cross country with goods.

Anonymous said...

It is not likely to ever happen, can you imagine obtaining all the right of ways, all the permits. I would expect just the planning would take 10 years and by then who knows what will be happening?

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the Chinese have hypersonic missile technology and will soon be able to send a passenger jet around the world in an hour, using tech we abandoned years ago because of cost. We're 30 trillion in debt and can't have nice things any longer. The American moment in technology has passed. We should simply wait for the Chinese to develop it, then, buy it from them with money they loan us. We can only get there as fast as they'll let us. But it's definitely cool.

Anonymous said...

You have been watching my daydreams for years you voyeur you! With my aging and that of my friends I have dreamed of some kind of tube I could put my friends, and me, in to shoot us back and forth across the country. Airport and other transportation snafu are difficult. Especially if you have sight/hearing or mobility problems. Sign me up for the first trip.

Carl said...

Underground would be difficult. Alot of wires and piping that already exist down there. Might have to dig nice and deep!

Anonymous said...

a hypersonic missile and a hypersonic airplane are two different things.
biggest problem--how many people would spend the outrageous ticket price.
that is what killed the Concorde.
The US leads the world in technological development.
China copies after the hard work is done.

Anonymous said...

700 mph is waaaaaay too fast. That's nearly the speed of sound. Musk's version of this is completely ridiculous, too, and is basically just self-driving cars in tubes.

It's also not even mass transit, as the pods don't appear to be able to fit that many people, and would thus likely be very expensive. A bullet train system would be much better, in my opinion (and without any need to develop new technology).