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Offline ӔO

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Hyperloop
« on: August 13, 2013, 03:18:48 AM »
Sounds great on paper.

http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/hyperloop


I wonder how loud it would be inside a capsule equipped with a compressor that's inside a tube.


as a side note, this looks interesting to draw and easy to price, since all the specs are there already.

Offline Junna

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 05:00:25 AM »
So it's largely a vacuum tube project? Only it seems to have rather limited capacity.

I really hate personal rapid transport projects.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 09:37:25 AM »
High-speed rail is much more flexible.  It may not be quite as fast, but on short-haul journies (under 500km) I don't think an hour matters that much to 99% of travellers (clearly it does to Elon).  What matters is reliability (we have had trains doing 250-300km/h for many years and there is a lot of great proven technology), safety and ease of use/access.  High-speed rail can easily be expanded to new destinations, more trains can be added to the line as required, stations can be centrally located in urban areas, etc.

A vacuum tube system would be prone to a lot of problems...

Offline VS

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 12:06:17 PM »
I am skeptical, too. IMO for transport systems (but technology in general), the most elegant and robust solutions share a number of characteristics: Passive, static, exploit natural forces in the environment and their local minima/maxima, use minimum of moving parts for infrastructure, etc. Concentrating maintenance and points of potential failure always helps. If this hyperloop needs active track, then, well, look at the list...

As Sarlock says in different words, being able to seamlessly "plug into" existing legacy systems is also important (high speed rail > rail).

Offline ӔO

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 02:47:29 PM »
hyperloop is not a vacuum tube system, it actually denounces it as being impractical.

The tube is under normal atmospheric pressure, but the key is in the capsule, which has a compressor fitted, so that it sucks out the high pressure zone created in front when travelling at high speeds.

It is aimed more at 1500km, rather than 500km.


I think it is a pipe dream too, but it's not as bad as other systems.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 05:52:27 PM »
One of the largest hurdles, and expenses, for California is the fact that they never planned for this sort of infrastructure.  Having to go in after and buy up the land and lay down hundreds of km of track is very, very expensive... but I'd consider the cost of the land to be of a different sort than the laying of track, stations and buying the moving components.  The land, once purchased, will always be there for future transportation options.  Most of North America has this problem: it sold a lot of its urban rail line right-of-ways decades ago and most cross-country rail lines are designed for freight or low/mid speed passenger rail.

I'm willing to bet that the hyperloop would cost 10x the estimated $6 billion to construct.  Or more.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 06:25:46 PM »
yes, the california high speed rail was not supposed to cost $60 billion either.
Just like many other construction projects, the initial cost estimates are always less than actual costs.

Offline sdog

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 06:49:24 PM »
they don't have to buy land, just use two lanes of their highways/interstates ;-)



Question why is that HSR project planned for such low speeds. Also the XpressWest project, through the dessert connecting California with Las Vegas is even slower (at 240km/h top speed it's regular rail, not even HSR). Any specific reason?

Offline Ters

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 07:17:57 PM »
Regular rail is 70 km/h, assuming the rail line is even open. If not, it's about 80-90 km/h. 240 km/h is superduperhighspeed. In my world anyway.

Offline Lmallet

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 02:47:33 AM »
Also the XpressWest project, through the dessert connecting California with Las Vegas is even slower (at 240km/h top speed it's regular rail, not even HSR). Any specific reason?
From what I am reading from their website, they want the trains to be as American-built as possible.  Since the US has very little high-speed train manufacturing capabilities, the top speed was probably picked in order to keep their plans feasible...

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 08:51:21 PM »
Probably for a lot of reasons.  Noise levels increase exponentially with speed (although in the open desert this isn't a problem).  There will probably be a lot of level road crossings out of the urban areas which have safety considerations with speed increases.  Cost would also play into it: there would be an exponential increase in capital and maintenance costs with increased speed as well.  240km/h was probably a good compromise with all those factors, among many others.

Are they planning diesel or electric?

EDIT: looks like electric, though this doesn't seem 100% decided yet.

Offline sdog

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 09:22:51 PM »
Can one have level road crossings for tracks rated at speeds above 130 km/h or so?

Outside of the immediate urban sprawl, even California as the most populous US state has population densities comparable or below that of France. There LGV noise emissions seem to be technically handled without too much difficulty. Americans are also much less sensitive to noise pollution. I have some doubts about noise being an important reason for the very limited speeds.

The not very fast, private, desert line is a different story though. Perhaps limited capital might be a reason. This shouldn't be an issue for states however. There the running costs/subsidy is likely to greatly exceed any cost increase by higher speed ratings. A lower travel times could very well work to reduce deficits by increasing the ridership.

As i see it, it's not trivial to get from the Bay area to LA. It's quite a bit too far to travel comfortably by car and flights are both very tedious and expensive in the US (TSA and such). (not speaking from personal experience though) It'd be sad if in a multi-billion dollar project so many corners are cut to shave a few billion of the overall bill, sacrificing the very advantages of such a project.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 09:46:05 PM »
In the UK level crossings can be up to 160km/h I think.

Offline gauthier

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Re: Hyperloop
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 10:09:43 PM »
Quote
France. There LGV noise emissions seem to be technically handled without too much difficulty.
LGVs are usually built far from urban areas, when TGVs move through urban areas, they are usually on classic tracks or near from terminus stations so they slow down a lot (from 320 km/h to somewhere between 0 and 200 km/h I suppose).