The first tests of Elon Musk’s revolutionary high-speed transport system could begin soon after Hyperloop One, one of 12 companies competing to make the idea a reality, completed its test track.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).
The company has finished work on its 500 metre long testing tunnel, which is situated in the Nevada desert, near Las Vegas, and has a diametre of 3.3 metres. It is expected to run initial trials on the near-supersonic speed train in the first half of this year.
Hyperloop One announced the news alongside 11 proposed routes for the super-fast transport, all of which are in the US. The longest proposed route is 1,152 miles from Cheyenne to Houston and the shortest 64 miles from Boston to Providence.
It would take an average car 17 hours to travel the longest route, which would be cut down to just an hour and 45 minutes on the Hyperloop.
The radical mode of transport, which could also travel from London to Manchester in 18 minutes, is being designed to hit speeds of up to 800mph. Designs for the Hyperloop look a bit like a train, but rather than running on wheels, its pods levitate and travel in a vaccuum. The frictionless environment allows them to move with little air resistance.
The development follows last month’s news that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, another competing company, has started building the first passenger capsule. The pods will be able to carry 28 to 40 passengers at a time and depart every 40 seconds, the company said. They could be ready as early as next year.
The Hyperloop is the brainchild of US billionaire and Tesla chief executive Musk, who proposed a competition to develop the technology out of frustration with the alternatives.
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