700mph trains a reality?
By Jim Scott
10 years ago, if someone had told you broadband speeds could excess 1 terabyte per second in speed, you’d think they were lying. But as Internet Service Providers gear up to release lightning fast 1tb broadband en masse. Could the world’s trains, which currently average at around 125 miles per hour, eventually reach similar equivalent speeds with Elon Musk’s inspired "Hyperloop" over the next several years?
At the beginning of 2018, plans to "blast" passengers to their destinations in minutes rather than hours became one-step closer to reality. The BBC reports Virgin has invested millions into Hyperloop which represents a network of vacuum tubes which could link cities in a matter of minutes. In January, testing began in the desert land of Las Vegas with the first test successfully completing a journey at 240mph, without passengers.
But the companies involved with Hyperloop mean business. CNBC reports, the passenger pod which will carry passengers through the hyperloop was revealed earlier this month. The 105-foot-long capsule, weighs just over 5 tonnes and is tipped to allow between 28 and 40 passengers onboard. The pod was revealed to generate "renewed interest" according to analysts.
But quite dissimilar, to the space race which fares will cost hundreds of thousands. The chance to ride on any part of Hyperloop will "cost no more than that of a high-speed rail fare" according to Virgin group’s, Sir Richard Branson.
The Billionaire remained optimistic about his investment saying journey times would be cut from 5 hours to "just over half an hour". However, some critics are confused, how journey fares could be comparatively cheaper. Wired reports, the intricate network of Hyperloop tunnels worldwide would exceed $6 billion to begin with.
Critics also said the threat of terrorism could hamper approval by governments in countries hosting Hyperloop track. Whilst the National Interest raised concerns that a "breach" in a section of tube, could force capsules out "at the speed of sound" likely killing everyone onboard.
However, working hard to dispel any concerns about incidents or terrorism.
Hyperloop engineer, Casey Handmer said: "The regulatory framework for hyperloop isn’t fully formed and will vary from place to place.
"That said, security measures are typically a trade between time, efficacy, and being desperate to look like security is taking place. Hyperloop takes security seriously and will ensure the safety of the system and passengers without adding friction to the transportation process."
But already, The Daily Mirror reports an insurance company has declared Hyperloop feasible and "insurable" and speculates that government officials could be persuaded, provided safety features are present and agreed.
But as hype builds over the success of Hyperloop and its sustainability in countries due to receive the service. Dozens of contingency and legal plans will need to be put in place to make sure the Hyperloop track works and does not end up being a huge waste of money. For now, The Daily Star reports Hyperloop is on track and could be ‘ready for passengers’ in the Middle-East as soon as the end of 2019.