A couple of Sundays ago, the CBS Sunday Morning Show (one of the most intelligent programs on American network television) did a feature on the Futures exhibit in the Arts and Industries building of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. It was a cold Sunday, and I needed to get out for a walk, so I drove into the city and spent some time walking a couple of the Smithsonian museums. For those not familiar, the Smithsonian is not one museum, it is a bunch of them. Arts in Industries is one of the oldest buildings, and it had been closed for 19 years for structural repairs.
One of the items on display was a hyperloop car/capsule. The concept of a hyperloop is basically an enclosed tube, kind of like a pneumatic tube, transport pods would move inside of the tube at very high speeds, just under the speed of sound. The working model, uses linear induction electric motors, that have no moving parts, and magnetic levitation to minimize ground contact and friction. The enclosed tube minimizes friction, and actually the air can be pumped in the direction of travel creating even less drag. The current test circuits are relatively small. Large scale they are talking about Washington DC, to New York City in 25 minutes, a trip that currently take 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours by train, or 45 minute by air, but when you land in New York, you are an hour from the city center where most people want to be.
The current test vehicles seats two people. In relative comfort, but the trips would be short, the east coast corridor in less than an hour, east coast to Chicago in about an hour (with the time zone change you would arrive in Chicago from the east coast, before you left.) Cross country in about three hours.
Will it work? It works. Is it practical, time will tell. It is less than 100 years since humans first flew across the Atlantic, and there were those that questioned if air travel would ever be practical. I marvel to think of the travel adventures of the next 100 years.
"an enclosed tube"? I'd feel as though I was the tube at the bank at the drive thru! Do they still have those? I haven't been to a bank in years.ReplyDelete
The same concept, I can remember one of the old department stores in Detroit that used a central cashier with pnematic tubes to the departmentDelete
I would love to arrive someplace before I leave!ReplyDelete
fly from Cleveland to ChicagoDelete
Me too Mitchell! Maybe I could finally be on time!!!!Delete
If you are not 15 minutes early, you are late - that my mother's policyDelete
The Cleveland to Chicago trick is kinda fun. Doesn't always work out due to air traffic in Chi and weather conditions.Delete
The return trip takes foreverDelete
I’m just thinking on a practical level. I’d then buy the winning lottery ticket before it’s drawn... again.Delete
An exciting concept. Last night I watched Firing Line on PBS and they interviewed Lonnie Bunch, the secretary of the Smithsonian Museums. Now I want to go to DC again. Maybe this summer.ReplyDelete
Let me know if you make it to DC, I'll buy lunchDelete
It looks kind of claustrophobic to me, like an MRI machine.ReplyDelete
I should have gotten a better photo of the interior, quite a bit of a space.Delete
The enclosed tube part has my claustrophobia on high alert, but the idea of speedy travel may outweigh that!ReplyDelete
We watch CBS Sunday Morning every week, and you are so right about it.
The reason there are windows in subway trains.Delete
Totally tubular, man! I'll leave.ReplyDelete
Hang around, we need more of youDelete
Given the lack of high speed train lines in North America, I can't ever see the infrastructure for such a thing being built.ReplyDelete
I am pessimistic that in the future travel will be too hazardous, expensive if downright not allowed.ReplyDelete