Hyperloop soon to break ground

Hyperloop mockupDespite a consistent chorus of criticism from naysayers, the Hyperloop ultra-fast rail project has broken new ground, with a rapid timetable in place for its California debut.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the leading companies dedicated to taking SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s revolutionary brainchild off the drawing board and into reality, went public with news of its plans to break ground this year. “Construction is set to begin in the second quarter of 2016,” Entrepreneur noted.

In an interview with CNBC, HTT COO Bibop Gresta framed the details in ambitious new terms. “We are announcing the filing of the first building permit to Kings County to the building of the first full-scale hyperloop, not a test track,” he said. “In 36 months we will have the first passenger in the first full-scale hyperloop.”

Ben Cooke, a spokesman for the company, supplied some additional details separately. HTT, he indicated, “hopes to do geological surveys and map out the track in the next six months, then start building. The plan is to use a hyperloop to whisk residents around a proposed development called Quay Valley, south of Kettleman City. Preliminary estimates based on construction bids are that the hyperloop’s cost will be between $100 million and $170 million,” noted Southern California Public Radio.

Rival locations

Gresta made clear, however, that Californians won’t be able to cue up for travel up and down the state quite so soon, CNBC reported, noting that the completed track HTT plans to build won’t stretch between cities. “Gresta said that a full-scale city to city hyperloop could be a reality within five years, but said it will most likely not be in the U.S.,” the network added.

In an interview with a separate network, Gresta raised more eyebrows by suggesting that Russia could be among the first countries to bankroll a hyperloop that does reach from city to city. “Hyperloop Technologies is in talks with a Russian investor to finance the possible building of a new kind of transport, the company’s COO told RT at the World Economic Forum in Davos,” RT reported. “It is likely the government will also be keen on the idea, he believes.”

Speaking about HTT’s current negotiations, Gresta told RT, “We’re talking with a Russian private investor to basically have the first route in Russia, and we’re analyzing different possible solutions between different cities. You can connect Moscow and St. Petersburg in 35 minutes.”

Three ways forward

But HTT, which isn’t alone in the race to develop the hyperloop, made waves at Davos while another company rolled out development news of its own. According to SpaceX itself, Aecom, a global infrastructure firm, will construct “a one-mile track at SpaceX headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport,” as SCPR reported. “If all goes well, by summer’s end, the track will host prototype capsules that emerge from a design competition this weekend at Texas A&M University. The prototype pods would be half the size of the system that Musk envisioned and would not carry people.”

Michael Burke, Aecom chairman and CEO, released a statement portraying the company’s foray into hyperloop construction as a natural next step. Aecom, he said, “has designed and built some of the world’s most impressive transportation systems, so we appreciate how the development of a functioning Hyperloop with SpaceX can dramatically expand the ways people move across cities, countries and continents.”

A third firm has already forged ahead with a similar test track across the California border in North Las Vegas, “Hyperloop Technologies Inc. says that track will be used to develop ways to propel capsules,” SCPR observed. “The company plans to build a second, full-scale loop to test a prototype, spokeswoman Meredith Kendall said.”

5 comments

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  1. Ted--- Choo Choo Train Steele!
    Ted--- Choo Choo Train Steele! 28 January, 2016, 14:54

    This train is going to kick a–

    Imagine all of the relatives of the many state prison inmates will be able to travel the loop of the valley and hit most of California’s Golden State Prisons! Lewie, will you get a shot of this???

    Reply this comment
  2. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 28 January, 2016, 17:39

    The Chattanooga Choo Choo,The A Train,The City of New Orleans and now the California Pork Train I can hear the ghost of Casey Jones stirring up

    Reply this comment
  3. Bill Don't Mess wid da G.
    Bill Don't Mess wid da G. 28 January, 2016, 21:23

    ZZZZZZ-yet ANOTHER sterile techno-wet dream, delivered to us by VERY SMART PEOPLE. And according to Mr. BeeBop Gresta this first hyperloop will “whisk residents around a proposed development called Quay Valley, south of Kettleman City”, AH yes, beautiful synthetic QUAY VALLEY, SOUTH OF KETTLEMAN CITY. An absolute GARDEN SPOT I’m sure….Where ‘residents’ can be ‘whisked’ from shopping to..whatever, by a clean oh-so-technophallic hyperloop. God save us from the nerds!

    Reply this comment
  4. Mayor Kinney
    Mayor Kinney 29 January, 2016, 12:20

    Hyperloop is the next most exciting transportation development. I have been saying for the passed two years that it would be wisdom for us as a nation to get involved in the rest of the development and be among the first nations and state to roll out production. California should not be left behind but leading in technological breakthroughs such as Hyperloop.
    I have envisioned a connecting hyperloop grid from Sacramento to San Jose to San Francisco, partnering with BART to help develop the routes and make BART stations along the route for short connections. Hyperloop would make several long distance runs throughout the day and night, especially during commute hours. Trips from Sacramento to San Jose or San Francisco could be 10-15 minutes non-stop one way. Riders then could get off at the major stops and transfer to BART for a closer destination station. This vision should be a significant part of our current next 30 year plan. Forget the Bullet Train, it’s already 30 year old technology, Hyperloop is next generation transportation, and is one of the inspirational opportunities get Americans engaged – a great rallying cry!

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Elon MuskRussiaSpaceXHyperloopHTTQuay Valley

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