Dissatisfied with the Californian government’s high-speed railway proposal, genius entrepreneur Elon Musk – founder of Tesla Motors and Paypal – put forth the revolutionary idea of the Hyperloop: a high-speed transportation concept utilizing a tube system that propels passenger capsules at close to the speed of sound. The system, though still conceptual, is a modern inspiration.
The pneumatic tube system is raised and slightly pressurized to reduce friction, employing electromagnets to impel the capsules at roughly 760 mph (1,220 km/h). The passenger pod is cushioned by air forced through multiple vents at its bottom and moved along speedily by linear induction motors placed at intervals along the route.
Another advantage the Hyperloop proposal has over the high-speed railway is that it will be easier to build and, because the system is elevated, less damaging to the landscape around it. Following on from its eco-friendly stance, it will also make use of solar panels that provide sustained environmentally-conscious power to the system.
The Hyperloop can be constructed using mostly existing technology with a blanket cost of $6 to $10 billion – a cost that seems a mere pittance when compared to the $70 billion price tag of the government’s railway proposal.