Is the Hyperloop all just loopy hype?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Hyperloop diagrams
LA to SF in 35 minutes? No problem. LA to NY in 45 minutes? More cost-effective to make a better plane.

Elon Musk came up with the idea of the Hyperloop, a super fast train that can take passengers from one end of the country to the other in less than an hour. He shared his ideas with AllThingsD at their D11 conference earlier this year, and that left listeners panting for more information. How much will the Hyperloop cost to build? Where will it be constructed? Well, it’s a good thing he released a Hyperloop report this Monday!

According to the presentation, the Hyperloop will cost approximately $9 billion to build. Billion? Yup! I know it sounds like a lot money, but if you compare it to California’s $90 billion rail project, it’s not all that much, huh? In fact, he’s rather disappointed that California isn’t stepping up their game with its cash-bloated rail system. Musk says, “How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?”

A lot of people are excited the train will be able to take them across the country, but according to Musk, it would be best if they set their hopes aside. He says that while a speedy trip across the state is possible, it would probably cost too much money. Instead, he hopes the train will run along the 5 freeway, which extends from the very tip top of California all the way to the very bottom of the state. So, rather than Los Angeles to New York in 45 minutes, it’s more like Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes.

As for the speed, don’t worry, you can still be excited about that. Musk claims the Hyperloop will go twice as fast as China’s Shanghai Maglev, which has a top speed of around 300 miles! Actually, since the Hyperloop is projected to run at a speed of 700 mph, it’s more than twice as fast. Musk jokingly commented that the Hyperloop is just sort of like teleportation.

Images courtesy of Elon Musk.