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Month: April 2016

Hyperloop Passenger Experience ?>

Hyperloop Passenger Experience

California High Speed Rail promises a 2:40 transit between Los Angeles Union Station and San Francisco Transbay Transit Center.  If the Hyperloop goes 760 mph, the same trip could be made in 35 minutes.  Not everyone is travelling from central business district to central business district.  The only fair time comparison is door to door.  This calculation is particularly relevant to the alternative, air travel.  If boarding HSR or HL is as easy as getting on a subway, Hyperloop will…

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Gateway – Not Far Thinking Enough ?>

Gateway – Not Far Thinking Enough

Chris Christie was absolutely right to put the kibosh on the ARC Tunnel.  It was a Band-Aid, a small fix to a big problem.  An expensive one at that. The small problem is that there are only six rail tunnels between Manhattan and New Jersey.  Two tubes, completed in 1910, are near the end of their service life.  Every rail commuter on NJTransit and every Amtrak rider from New York Southbound uses those tubes.  Breakdown of a train in a tube…

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Hyperloop Test Environment – Rev 5.0 ?>

Hyperloop Test Environment – Rev 5.0

Elon Musk is putting his money where his imagination is – in a mile-long Hyperloop test track adjacent to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.  AECOM has been contracted to build the facility to host a competition of university teams designing capsules for the evacuated-tube high speed transport system.  My guess is that it will go in the railroad right of way across the street from SpaceX’ facility. Since Musk published his white paper describing hyper loop in 2013, the…

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Hyperloop Aerodynamics ?>

Hyperloop Aerodynamics

Hyperloop is proposed to operate in a tube evacuated to 100 Pascals.  This is 1/1000 the pressure at sea level.  Removing 99.9% of the air molecules that would ordinarily slow the vehicle makes pushing it cheap.  Reducing the amount of friction by replacing wheels with air cushions or magnetic levitation (maglev) brings the energy consumption to unbelievably low numbers.  That’s the good news.  The engineering challenge is to build a vehicle that can move between the remaining air molecules at…

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Is the Hyperloop a Thing? ?>

Is the Hyperloop a Thing?

Elon Musk, inventor of the Tesla automobile and SpaceX, dreamed of high-speed terrestrial transport while stuck in Los Angeles traffic.  He envisioned a space capsule-in a vacuum tube, published his concept, and invited the world to refine the design, making it reality.  In early 2016, two commercial entities and 20 university teams are in the hunt.  To catalyze the competition, he financed a mile-long track to be completed in the summer of 2016.  There, teams will demonstrate prototype vehicles (“pods”)….

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Hello World! ?>

Hello World!

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts. Much of public policy depends on science and matters of law.  Both change with time, but for now, good decisions are based on what today’s science and law is, not what we’d like it to be. This blog is a place to discuss matters of science in public policy.