Internet raises money for world’s fastest rail system

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Hyperloop solar
The Hyperloop would be powered, in part, by solar panels (in the upper left). This cutaway design shows what the inside of the transport tube would look like.

Earlier this month, rockstar inventor Elon Musk announced his idea to build a super fast train called the Hyperloop. People were really excited when they heard the news, especially when he said he envisioned a train that could travel across the country in less than an hour! Several days after the announcement, however, Musk said it would cost too much money to go from coast to coast. So, the entrepreneur designed a rail system that travels up and down California instead! However, Musk has his hands full with his world-class space exploration company SpaceX and elite automobile business Tesla Motors, so he can’t focus on the Hyperloop. Basically, Musk prefers that another organization take on the project. Meanwhile, JumpStart Fund – a web company that raises money and generates ideas – is taking on the challenge of bringing Musk’s revolutionary project from the realm of vision into reality.

Here’s how the Jumpstart Fund website works. Individuals post their ideas for possible projects, which get voted up or down by other contributors. So, for the rail system, there will eventually be tons of different design models, some of which might actually bring it to life. Besides collecting ideas, JumpStart Fund CEO Dirk Ahlborn is raising money for the Hyperloop, but that’ll definitely be a huge challenge. Why? Musk estimates the rail system will cost a monstrous $9 billion dollars! “We want to make this project happen, and of course in order to make it happen at the end, money is going to play a large role,” said Ahlborn. “It’s clear it’s a large sum, so it seems like it’s an impossible goal to reach 6 or 9 billion dollars. Our idea right now is just to be like, let’s try and do something and not just talk about it. Let’s brainstorm, crowdsource, and get on the next stage.”

This enormous project isn’t like going door to door and selling chocolate bars in the neighborhood, so the mission is definitely going to take some courage, patience, and willpower. However, Ahlborn is a huge fan of the train, so he really wants to see it through!

Images courtesy of Elon Musk.