Amtrak CEO slams Elon Musk's Hyperloop plan as unrealistic

  • Amtrak’s CEO Richard Anderson said a Hyperloop system is not ‘realistic right now.’
  • Anderson said he is more focused on fixing traditional infrastructure, like bridges and roads.
  • Elon Musk says he has received approval to build an underground Hyperloop system that would connect major US cities in the northeast.

A Hyperloop system is not yet a ‘realistic’ mode of transportation, Amtrak’s CEO Richard Anderson said on CNBC Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s realistic right now. I’m glad there are people out there who dream about that, but I’m just sort of focused on bridges and tunnels that are 100 years old that need some real infrastructure investment,” Anderson said.

Tesla CEO and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk originally proposed his Hyperloop idea in a white paper in 2013. According to Musk, the Hyperloop is a system where passenger pods travel through tubes at speeds up to 700 miles per hour.

While Musk first said he had no intentions of pursuing the system commercially, his plans seem to have changed.

In July, Musk said via Twitter that he received approval for his Boring Company to build an underground Hyperloop system that would connect major cities in the northeast United States. These cities would include New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. Musk said the Hyperloop system could get travellers from New York City to DC in just 29 minutes.

The Boring Company, which is Musk’s latest venture, aims to develop an underground network of tunnels that can be used for cars and high-speed trains, like the Hyperloop.

Currently, the company is working to develop tunnelling technology that is faster and cheaper than traditional machines. The company has been testing its tech by digging a tunnel underneath the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne, California. While the Boring Company has received permits to extend its tunnels two additional miles under the city of Hawthorne, the tunnel can only be used for research and development.

A few startups are also working on developing Hyperloop technology.

The LA-based Hyperloop One recently announced that it had two successful tests of its system. During its latest demo in August, its passenger pod almost hit 200 miles per hour on its test track located in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Arrivo is another early-stage startup focused on developing Hyperloop technology. The company was founded by Brogan BamBrogan, a former Hyperloop One co-founder and a former SpaceX engineer.

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