Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spend now on rail, regret later

What if rail enthusiasts are all wrong?  
Taxpayers would have a very expensive white elephant, but at least some people would have made money.  Read about California's "high speed" rail effort, the failing, old-school program to connect SF to LA.  The real costs and problems can be found elsewhere on the web. Now read about the future of transportation or what it could be like.  This one is technically feasible!

Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes

August 13, 2013: 9:43 AM ET

Serial entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk unveiled design plans for his Hyperloop -- a superfast transport system that could cut the travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco to 30 minutes, and cost a fraction of the currently proposed high speed rail project.

In a technical paper published Monday, Musk said his idea is similar to the "old pneumatic tubes used to send mail and packages within and between buildings," but would operate under much less pressure to save on energy.

The cars would be pushed or pulled through the tube by a series of electric motors, possibly similar to the ones used by the Tesla Model S. Each car would be mounted with a fan in front to move the air out of the way. The air itself would then be directed underneath the car, forming a cushion on which it would ride. The entire thing would be powered by solar panels mounted on top of the tube.

Musk said it could cost less than one-tenth of the planned high speed rail system in California project that's estimated to cost $70 billion. It would also be six times faster.

In fact, it was the high cost of the California train that prompted Musk to research the Hyperloop in the first place."How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL -- doing incredible things like
indexing all the world's knowledge and putting rovers on Mars -- would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world," he wrote.

1 comment:

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