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OUT OF THIS WORLD | Earth, Space and Everything In-Between - a daily journey through weather, space and science with meteorologist/science writer Scott Sutherland

Elon Musk's first Hyperloop tunnel is set to open soon

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 5:29 PM - Elon Musk's Hyperloop idea has come along way since he first suggested it, and now it looks like we're going to see one in operation, very soon.

In two somewhat cryptic tweets posted Sunday night, Musk let his fans know that something was up.

It wasn't too difficult to tell exactly what he was talking about, though. To anyone who'd been following news of him, talk of a tunnel being finished could only mean that we are finally going to see the first Hyperloop in operation.

The Hyperloop is a brainchild of Musk, which he first proposed back in 2012, as a high-velocity transportation system which could link Los Angeles and San Francisco, providing passengers with only a 35 minute trip between the two locations.

Since then, the idea has advanced through a contest with teams designing cars for the system, and the creation of Musk's Boring Company, which has been digging the first Hyperloop tunnels.

Now, it appears as though the very first test tunnel for the Los Angeles Hyperloop will be open as of December 10, apparently with free rides for the public starting the day after.

Even before this transportation system official opens to the public, there has already been intense interest in building similar systems between other cities.

A line between Toronto and Montreal could cut that 6 hour drive time down to just 45 minutes. Another between Calgary and Edmonton could deliver commuters between the two cities in just over 30 minutes, rather than the normal 3 hours drive.

It may seem strange that there's only a 15 minute difference between the Hyperloop travel times of the two proposed routes above, given that it takes twice as long to drive between Calgary and Edmonton as it does between Toronto and Montreal. However, the advantage of the Hyperloop is that the nearly airless tunnels would allow the cars to get up to incredible speeds (possibly over 1,000 km/h). Thus, with a longer route, the cars could get up to much faster speeds, and still have ample time to gently slow down towards its destination. For a shorter route, the speeds would have to be kept lower.

Source: Elon Musk/Twitter


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