Right?!!! Virgin Hyperloop One has a feasibility study going with the Indian government to build a hyperloop stretching from Mumbai to Pune in the next 4-5 years. 😲 A test track between the cities could come sooner.
I wonder what the advantages/disadvantages of above-ground versus below are?
Very cool. If below ground is deemed to be more advantageous would Virgin Hyperloop One use The Boring Company to dig the tunnel?
Has Elon come to the conclusion that below ground is the best way forward?
I feel like Elon and others have a better chance at being successful with Hyperloop than California has of getting a HSR running between SF and LA...
@gorudy, great questions. The Hyperloop One team did a Reddit AMA about 6 months ago and said this:
We are definitely anticipating the need to put the tube underground. In congested urban environments there is often not another option. Tunnels have the advantage of allowing us to select more direct routes and they usually perform better in earthquakes than above-ground structures. On the negative side, they are generally more expensive and slower to construct. The choice depends on the route and the urban landscape! -BK
They also had a post on their website about living in the golden age of tunneling. The thing is, the world's longest tunnels top out about 35 miles and take 20 years to build. It feels like the power of hyperloops is for long-range travel fast, so it seems impossible with current technology and cost constraints to put the whole hyperloop underground.
I think it'd first make sense to use a hyper loop for the transportation of small packages but then for larger loads including people. Tunnelling is certainly a challenge for underground road systems, not to mention a hyperloop, but Musk thinks the technology can be improved by a considerable amount.
As someone who has worked for years in the heavy equipment and construction industry I'd also say we could consider shallow underground tunnels similar to what we do with pipelines. That'd have several advantages that above ground and well below ground doesn't have.
North American has no high speed transit systems and we're in the dark ages compared to other areas of the world. To have a hyper loop transportation system would be to leapfrog a generational level of technology.
How long was Bertha stuck in Seattle?
Also below ground in urban areas is often more congested than above. There are subways, sewage, water, telecommunications, Jimmy Hoffa, steam in New York City, pilings for buildings...
There is a readon the tunnels were built at Disney World before the buildings
Only in larger cities with more underground infrastructure. Even then, stations could be located adjacent to existing subway stations for access to the surface.
Oh. And a larger question or two. Do you build stations where there are no cities (or very small cities) in the hopes of easing congestion by moving populations away? And what about emergency access? By conventional travel, help will often be a long time coming.