California’s proposed bullet train connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco sounds pretty fast. The top speed is 220 mph. The trip from Hollywood to Silicon Valley would take only three hours. And now the state finally has the legal go-ahead to fund the project.
But compared to the so-called “Hyperloop” concept that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk introduced last year, the bullet train might as well be from the age of steam propulsion.
Three hours? Try 35 minutes.
Musk says the Hyperloop would cost $US7.5 billion to build, versus $US68 billion for the high-speed rail line. And while the bullet train looks cool, it would still just be a very fast train, while the Hyperloop looks like something borrowed from the future.
Here’s a refresher on Musk’s Hyperloop:
The design uses special capsules that would travel in tubes on a cushion of air at 700 mph.
Passengers in each capsule would be unable to see outside, but personal screens would provide them with landscape views or entertainment options.
The tubes would be elevated, situated on pylons.
The Hyperloop would join California’s technology and entertainment capitals.
Musk and his engineers have already worked out the critical technological innovations that would make the Hyperloop possible — at least on paper.
It makes the bullet train…
…look like one of these.
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