Musk tweeted this week that the stops would include Philadelphia and Baltimore in between, and the route would be “city center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”
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Musk’s concept of the hyperloop uses reduced-pressure tubes that allow the pressurized capsules containing the passengers or freight to basically ride on air, increasing the speed and the efficiency of the vehicle compared to traditional trains or subways. The paper envisioned a top speed of 760 miles per hour and an average speed of 600 miles per hour.
Originally published July 22, 2017.
BALTIMORE, MD – The futuristic “hyperloop” project that Tesla cofounder Elon Musk announced would make it easier for travelers looking to get from Charm City to New York.
It’s an expensive proposition, however. A Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route would cost an estimated $6 billion, according to the paper.
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The hyperloop effort goes hand-in-hand with new tunnel-boring machines that can both dig and reinforce tunnels at the same time, which means they could dig faster and more efficiently than in a traditional tunneling project.
He first pushed forward the futuristic hyperloop concept in a 2013 white paper.
“I’m completely unaware of any request to the District government to permit or review anything related to an Elon Musk project,” Dormsjo told the Washington Post. “This is news to City Hall,” added a spokesman for de Blasio.
In a response to a Twitter user, Musk said the first set of tunnels would “alleviate greater LA [Los Angeles] urban congestion,” and the New York-to-D.C. route would start in parallel. After that, Musk suggested the company would pursue Los Angeles to San Francisco and a Texas loop involving Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
The news was met with amazement on Twitter, as well as a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, Musk didn’t say who exactly gave this approval, and such a transit system would certainly require the input of lots of federal, state and local governments.
Musk later attempted to clarify his comments in a tweet that didn’t clarify much: “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly.” Again, he did not answer the big question: who was doing the approving.
Adding fuel to the speculation that this is more publicity stunt than rubber-stamped project is the fact that a couple of key players — Leif Dormsjo, the director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — appear to be totally in the dark about the project.
Watch: Elon Musk Wants To Build A Hyperloop On The East Coast
Tesla CEO and SpaceX head Musk says he has verbal approval for another one of his business interests, The Boring Company, to build an underground hyperloop that would allow commuters to travel from D.C. to New York in just 29 minutes.