It could take you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. Plans to build Elon Musk’s proposed Hyperloop train, which could theoretically travel faster than an airplane, are getting excitingly real, with a company signing a deal to build the world’s first Hyperloop test track in central California.The 8-km (5-mile) pilot project won’t be long enough to reach the proposed 1,200 km/h (800 mph) speeds of the Hyperloop train, but it’s a crucial first step, and is expected to begin construction at the start of next year.
The Hyperloop was first proposed by Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, in 2013, and works by transporting passengers through low-pressure tubes inside little pods at incredibly high speeds – sort of like the way mail used to be sucked around building using pneumatic tubes. This system, in theory, is incredibly cheap and energy-efficient to run, and could comfortably take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a mind-blowing 30 minutes. But despite coming up with a 57-page white paper outlining the idea, Musk admitted that he didn’t have time to work on the project, and at the end of last year, a group of engineers called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc began crowd-funding their own Hyperloop research. And they’re wasting not any time, with Ryan Citron over at Navigant Research Blog reporting that they’ve struck a deal with landowners to build an estimated US$100 million pilot track along California’s Interstate 5 highway, which connects LA with San Francisco. Source: Yes! A test track is being built for Elon Musk’s 1,200-km/h train