High Speed rail? (Outdated) Try hyperloop

This is a plan for High Speed Rail in the US

Made in February 2013

This idea is old. High Speed Rail? Japan has been using it since 1964. And California has been debating about this for years, but not a single track has been laid down. There are already 14 countries that have operating High Speed Rail systems: Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Taiwan, and the UK. 

In those 14 countries, the top 3 with the most tracks in operation are China (9,356km), Spain (3,100km), and Japan (2,664km). 

Current fastest train is in Japan, 360mph (580km/h)
Fastest operating train TGV in France 357mph (575km/h)

Other countries that have systems under construction include: Algeria, Morocco, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden. And a lot of these will have service starting within the next 5 years.

And not to mention, engineers are developing a nonstop High-speed train transfer. It's pretty self-explanatory if you watch the video I embedded from Mashable.

Why is high speed rail so important? It is so much more efficient and will cut usage in oil by a lot, compared to flying or driving. There's no traffic, and can transfer more people faster than flight on distances that aren't far enough to be efficient for flight, but far enough to be more efficient than conventional trains. Take Japan for example, if you were to transfer everyone who takes their High Speed Rail today, 3 jumbo jets would need to take off every 5 minutes.  

What's more impressive is that the Japanese High Speed Rail (Shinkansen) has an average arrival time of within 6 seconds of schedule time. (Calculated in 2003) And 50 year record of no accidents. Including the 2011 magnitude 9 Earthquake. Because their train system has Earthquake warning systems and automatically breaks all trains in the danger zone before an Earthquake actually arrives. Hopefully the Hyperloop can be as safe and on time as this.

More on High Speed Train engineering


What is the Hyperloop? 

It's an idea developed by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. It's a super fast new (5th) form of transportation that goes 800mph or 1290km/hr. It's capsules that run inside vacuum like tubes with less air (less pressure, higher speed). 

Price tag: $6 Billion USD to build (for the Californian Line, San Fran - LA)
Power: Solar 
People per pod: 28
Departure time: every 2 minutes
Time to reach top speed: 35 seconds

Cost per ticket: $20 USD 
Efficiency: can transport 7.4 million people between LA/San Fran each year
Time it would take to build: 7-10 years

According to the brief, hyperloop will be safer, faster, lower cost, more convenient, immune to weather, sustainably self-powering, resistant to earthquakes, and not disruptive to those along the route.

Explaining Safety: It’s basically impossible to have one of the most common kinds of plane crashes because the pods aren’t generating their own motion; they’re being accelerated from outside. You can imagine a line of people tossing balls from one to the other, which isn’t a good explanation of the physics, but gives you a feel for the thing. A ball does not slow down on its own in mid-toss, so you don’t have the problem where one pod stops, and the one behind it crashes into it. If the tube pressurizes, all the pods slow down. As far as I can tell, even a terrorist attack probably couldn’t kill much more than the people in one pod (28 people at max) -- which is terrible, of course, but far less than the casualties from a plane or train crash. source

Elon Musk: creator of Paypal, CEO of SpaceX/Tesla Motors
Bachelors in Economics from Wharton School of Upenn and also a second Bachelor's in physics.

What I want to say is, back to the High Speed Rail map planned for the US

If the US is gonna build this, might as well build the Hyperloop. 

Los Angeles - Las Vegas would be 20 mins (Friday night out!) 
Los Angeles - San Francisco would be 35 minutes
New York City - Los Angeles 60 min (Just in time for the important meeting!)

By the time the US finishes building this track system, if it's high speed rail, it would be really outdated and not efficient enough. The hyperloop would greatly benefit businesses that need to conduct in person meetings (no hassle to go through airport security and arrive 1 hr early to the airport, plus flights from NY - LA take 6 hrs), but it would also be great for tourism. Highways near bigger cities can be less congested. Unfortunately, Elon Musk is "too busy" to work on this project, and no one has had enough guts to take on this project. Hopefully, someone with enough revolutionary mindset would pick up this project. I would definitely want to be a part of it. With a land mass as large as the US, it might as well build the hyper loop, and finally catch up with the world in transportation technology. 

Neo Seoul (2144) from Cloud Atlas

I want to live to see the world like this.
Hopefully I won't have to wait until 2144.

1 comment:

  1. Might want to clarify the top speeds of current trains.

    In japan the record of 581 km/h is held by their magnetically levitating train which is far superior to HSR.

    And in france, well, they used only the engine and had it run on a super long straight track. The actual train with passengers can reach speeds of 320+ km/h but due to exponential demand in power from friction are currently doing 250 km/h or less.

    For "conventional" trains, maglev is the only valid option, but the hyperloop might even surpass that. Lets hope the test tracks proves the practicality and economy of it.