Elon Musk came up with the idea for the fifth mode of transport, Hyperloop in 2013. He believes that this is going to change the future as it is faster than trains and safer than cars.
Research shows that the journey from London to Birmingham takes 83 minutes by national rail but if traveled using Hyperloop train, it would only take 9 minutes, i.e. passengers will be saving a total of 74 minutes It will not only carry passengers but it’ll transport well too.
There are whole lot of benefits of Hyperloop. So, let’s dig into it more:
What is Hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a new form of ground transport currently in development by a number of companies, which could see passengers traveling at a speed of 700 miles an hour in floating pods inside the low-pressure tubes.
1. Hyperloop Tube
- Passenger pods or capsules travel through a tube, either above or below ground.
- To reduce friction, most of the air is removed from the tubes by pumps.
- It encloses the capsules in a reduced-pressure tube, effectively allowing the trains to achieve the speed of a plane on the field.
- In Musk’s model, the pressure of the air inside the Hyperloop tube is one-sixth the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars.
2. Hyperloop Capsules
- The Capsules float above the tube’s surface on a set of 28 air-bearing skis.
- It is the pod that generates the air cushion in order to keep the tube as simple and cheap as possible.
- There are some other alternative versions of Hyperloop available but they use Magnetic Levitation instead of air skis to keep the passenger pods off the tracks.
- The pod gets its initial velocity from an external linear electric motor. It would accelerate it to ‘high subsonic velocity” and then give it a boost every 70 miles or so.
- Every capsule could carry 28 passengers plus some luggage.
- The Pods used would leave in every two minutes.
3. Source of Power
- Solar Cells (Placed on the top of the tube which would allow it to generate more energy than it needed for operation.)
- Musk outlined his vision of what it would look like in his train’s Alpha paper.
- He demonstrated a case for a service in which the Hyperloop train would be running from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
- It would be affordable and rapid with its speed. It will beat the speed and performance of a high-speed rail link.
- He claimed that it would be safer, faster, more affordable, weather-proof, self-driven (in terms of power) and will cause less disturbance to people living on the route of the train.
Difference between Hyperloop and Traditional Railways
The Pods carrying passengers travel across the tubes or tunnels from which almost all of the air has been eliminated to reduce the effect of friction. This would allow the pods to travel a distance at up to 750 miles per hour.
Rather than using wheels like a train or car, the pods are designed to float on air skis.
They are using the same basic idea of air hockey table, or by using magnetic levitation to reduce the effect of friction.
Difference between Hyperloop and High-Speed Trains
- It is significantly better than high-speed rail.
- Lower cost.
- More energy efficient.
- Two or three times faster than the high-speed train.
- Faster than trains and car travel.
- It will cause less pollution in the environment because of air travel.
- It will be cost effective and efficient to build it.
- Could take the pressure off gridlocked roads.
- They can make travelling faster and convenient.
- Immune to weather.
- Resistant to Earthquakes.
- Sustainably self-powering.
How much will train’s tickets cost?
Musk’s LA to San Francisco version offered tickets at just $20 but Virgin Hyperloop One is vaguer on its plans.
- The concept has been introduced in the market for a long time but there was no development in the technology to start this innovative idea and make it successful.
- Lots of pods will be required to achieve the same passenger numbers as more traditional rail which used much bigger carriages.
- Right now, it is in an experimental stage even if the companies involved are very keen to talk about it’s potential.