Construction begins 2016 for Hyperloop on five-mile stretch
March 1, 2015 by Nancy Owano
Hyperloop construction will occur next year with the first full-scale track. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced it plans to start building a five-mile track in central California in 2016. Consider this an urban Hyperloop system for California, and not a dream on paper but quite real.
The company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, reached an agreement for the working Hyperloop passenger transportation system on a five-mile stretch in California's Central Valley as part of Quay Valley. This is referred to as a 21st-century town, also planned for the future. Wired reporter Alex Davies referred to Hyperloop Transportation Technologies "as the company that wants to move the revolutionary transit system out of Elon Musk's brain into the real world." Entrepreneurs took Musk's plan to turn the plan into reality, resulting in Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a company founded by JumpStarter. The company CEO is Dirk Ahlborn. One noteworthy aspect about the announcement is that the 2016 track initiative is not a scale model. "It's the real deal," said Davies. Running speed will be reduced on the shortened track from Hyperloop's full potential. While it's not the full-scale version, it will be using "magnets and fans to push passenger pods through five miles of depressurized tubes at speeds of up to 200 mph," said Rob Crilly in The Telegraph on Saturday.
The track site is interesting in and of itself—Quay Valley is a planned community to be built from scratch, said Wired, on 7,500 acres of land along Interstate 5, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. On February 26, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced a formal agreement with the Quay Valley developers for an installation of the Hyperloop along a five-mile stretch.
"Quay Valley will be a model town for the 21st century, a self-sustaining community," according to the "About Quay Valley" website. Under a concept dubbed the "New Ruralism," the community is to operate on 100 percent solar power and set "new standards in self-sufficient energy use, water conservation, resource reuse and environmental responsibility," a "global showcase" for sustainable energy, conservation, pollution reduction and "a higher quality of life."
Quay Hays, CEO of GROW Holdings, Inc. (Green Renewable Organic & Water), the master developer of Quay Valley, stated in the press announcement that the Hyperloop was "the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley." What is the Hyperloop? A capsule inside a tube, it will enable people to do a trip between LA and San Francisco in only half an hour. This will be a transportation network of above-ground tubes. With extremely low air pressure inside those tubes, said Wired, capsules filled with people zip through them at near supersonic speeds. The vision involves a 400-mile stretch of tubes carrying passengers. According to the Hyperloop company's announcement, the system allows a capsule with 28 people to travel through a tube with a low pressure environment of 100pa at 760mph, "similar to an airplane in very high altitudes but on the ground," said the company. Today, said Crilly, "friction limits the maximum velocity of high-speed trains. Instead the Hyperloop system would use tubes at very low pressure to reduce air resistance and the capsules would run on a 'ski' of air - rather than wheels - a bit like a puck on an air hockey table."
Musk has described the design, said the BBC, as a cross between Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.
Explore further: Inventor Musk to share plans for high-speed travel (Update)
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