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Posted By webbie,
Jul 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Could jets become obsolete?
These are 50X as efficient.
Did someone complete the engineering study and work out the costs? Last time I checked conventional high speed rail has a hard time competing with jets.
They are working on it - but claim 1/10 the cost to build as compared to high speed rail.
Time will tell, but it seems doable. It's a bit in the future, though, if ever. Chances are we'll never see it, but they are building a couple mile test track.
Here is some background:
Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX, is backing a variety of it:
He's not the kind of guy who goes in for stuff which is not doable.
It would be great to see a test project setup linking some major cities like NY/Chicago or Vanouver-Seattle-Portland.
Sounds interesting but I get worried when reading their licensing page: http://et3.net/book/et3-license Feels almost like a scam to get people out of their money.
The other problem is it is too small for efficient cargo transport. That was one of the reasons the german Transrapid never really got off the ground. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transrapid
Capsule monitoring would have to be flawless. At the speeds they are talking about a crash would simply be explosive.
I know a little about vacuum systems and that's going to need A LOT of power just to keep the tubes evacuated and pump down the air locks repeatedly.
Not to mention it could take many hours just to pump down the airlock before the capsule could even depart.
For the cost I think we might be better off to make a national effort to develop anti-gravity.
I think it's jumping too far ahead. Light rail (passenger only) is doable now.
The main issue is right of way, not the technology. Personally I would like to see fast commuter rail down the corridors of major expressways. Nothing brings the point home like being stuck in traffic for 30 minutes while fellow commuters whiz by in a good light rail system.
This reminds me of the guys who worked on the vacuum tube systems for banks, they would get calls for people sticking a soda in the carriage and it would explode in mid transit. One time they got a call about someone sticking a kitten in one so the tellers could pet it, you don't wanna know about that.
Think I will pass on this one.
Long ago there was a TV show written by Gene Rodenberry (star trek creator) that envisioned a similar system. It was post apocalypse type show but the trains still ran underground.
Well, the cost of gas has the air transport business teetering now. They HAVE to have the Boeing 787 up and running because of the fuel savings it has, regardless of the safety of burning batteries and weird fires on board. But add another dollar or two to the price of gas and flying will come under serious pressure. Never mind things like airport upkeep and government cuts to the FAA.
Rail is the future, all over again. When I was a kid RR was the way to go, and we went cross country by rail in the early 1961. Later in 1964 we drove. Rail was far better, in my memory. High speed rail lines have already been designed and is being implemented between Northern and Southern California, and there has ling been a line designed between LA and Vegas:
It would likely even pay for itself. As usual, the stupids in congress (a disgrace to the world on both sides of the isle) are tripping over themselves and stalling on funding. But over time, nothing else can really compete efficiently or in terms of cost to rail. The rest of this mass transit stuff is SciFi and unfeasible.
I'd like to see the numbers on how they figure they can build it so cheaply. I'm also very skeptical about going so fast without control in such a tight area.
That being said something's got to be better than more of the same. We don't need a faster horse, and light rail isn't that great unless there's nothing else.
How are they going to handle air changes? 2hrs sealed in a tube with strangers (and whatever they recently ate) can't be pleasant. Are they going to make you take a shower, like the public pool? Humans are filthy things.
Yes, once we separate light rail from freight, the right of way issue is greatly solved; the existing highway system plus remaining Rail corridors cover the entire country. Free the engineering from the freight requirements and we can begin using the zone between aviation and surface transportation.
The Movie was called Genesis II, and was set in 2133 after the third world war. The survivors use the Subshuttle:
"An elaborate "Subshuttle" subterranean rapid transit system was constructed during the 1970s, due to the vulnerability of air transportation to attack. The Subshuttles utilized a magnetic levitation rail system. They operated inside vactrain tunnels and ran at hundreds of miles per hour. The tunnel network was comprehensive enough to cover the entire globe. The PAX organization inherited the still-working system and used it to dispatch their teams of troubleshooters"
Seem life is imitating art again.
And the concept seems actually to be a good 100 years old: http://davidszondy.com/future/Living/subtrains.htm
Apparently it was American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard who suggested it around WW1. Quite frankly, I think the whole system is a scam to get investors out of their money. There are so many unanswered questions and technical challenges that the numbers are hard to believe. Look at those claims: "ET3 can be built for 1/10th the cost of High Speed Rail". Are we to believe those tubes are cheaper to built than rail? What about the vacuum pumps required everywhere? If for 100 years no one has signed up to built it I doubt it will happen now.
I can't help day dreaming about a string of airfoil shaped, helium/inert hydrogen micro-cell passenger pods schussing along at about 500', tethered to a high speed slave/slug motive unit (maglev?). Any problems, release and glide to Earth. Anyone read McPhee's "Deltoid Pumpkin Seed"?
I was bummed when the maglev tanked in Pittsburgh. I'm very pro-rail of any type. Hopefully they can get it sorted out.
Now I just need to get that red Barchetta hidden in the woodpiles for my boys.