"Hyperloop" tube idea would connect Boston to Providence

Camille Francis
April 8, 2017

The news comes nearly a year after Hyperloop's first and last big public test.

Hyperloop One announced that its test track in the desert north of Las Vegas, dubbed the "DevLoop", is now operational and it plans to soon hold human trials there for its sci-fi-like transit system: Think huge tubes that stretch over the landscape and use electric propulsion to literally blast people-filled pods over the earth. Not only do they need to prove the technology works (and works safely and reliably), but they need to negotiate with and owners, buy land where necessary, clear all legal and regulatory hurdles, and make a profitable business model.

The 11 finalist routes submitted by US teams. "This disruptive technology - conceived, developed and built in the USA - will move passengers and cargo faster, cleaner and more efficiently".

The challenge kicked off in May 2016 as an open call to individuals, universities, companies and governments to come up with proposals for deploying Hyperloop One's transport technology in their region.

The hyperloop will need to accelerate and slow down gently, so that the gravitational forces don't leave passengers feeling ill. The company still has to build its first Hyperloop transportation pod.

He said the Los-Angles based start-up's transportation service could provide an experience comparable to a high-speed aircraft. "Hyperloop One is the American Dream, and it's fast becoming an American reality".

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"Pick a place and build it, so people can see it", Foxx said in a panel discussion about the technology.

Lloyd said if regulators are adversarial, the project won't work, so Hyperloop One will look for cooperative regulators.

Several routes proposed to Hyperloop One include a 257-mile track connecting Miami and Orlando; a 64-mile long route between Boston, Somerset, N.J., and Providence, R.I.; and a 121-mile track that runs from Los Angeles to San Diego. But Florida rejected $2.4 billion in federal funding in 2011 for high-speed rail along a similar route because of concerns about how much it would cost to operate the system after it was built. In the end, Earle says, all the projects are about fostering state-to-state competition, and that could lead to side benefits that bring cities and the communities that surround them closer together.

While they idea of cutting hours off a commute in podlike travel has captured the public's imagination, hyperloop technology is most likely to be employed first as a glorified - but very fast - freight train.

Hyperloop One announced the finalists Thursday.

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