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Hyperloop One Reveals Its Plans For Connecting Europe (engadget.com) 213

Hyperloop One has revealed its plans for connecting Europe via its Hyperloop transportation system that can move passengers/cargo at airlines speeds for a fraction of the cost of air travel. The company is currently considering nine potential routes in Europe, "running from a 90km hop to connect Estonia and Finland, through to a 1,991km pan-German route," reports Engadget. "The UK [...] gets three proposes routes: one to connect its Northern Cities, one to connect the North and South, and one to connect Scotland with Wales." From the report: Several of the routes, including ones between Estonia and Finland, Corsica to Sardinia and Spain -- Morocco, all cross bodies of water. The company has, on several occasions, spoke of its love of tunnels, and plans to use them extensively in construction. Although rather than using tunneling machines, which can be slow, submerged box tunnels or archimedes bridges may be cheaper and faster to build. CNBC notes that the proposals for Europe connect more than 75 million people in 44 cities, spanning 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles).
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Hyperloop One Reveals Its Plans For Connecting Europe

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  • by grungeman ( 590547 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:44PM (#54565645)
    Get that San Francisco to LA route working and we can talk.
    • Re:Sounds great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @12:11AM (#54565775)

      Yeah, as much as I like the idea of a hyperloop, and new ways to transport people, I think the main issue of hyperloop is right now that its an unproven technology. There isn't a single track in operation around the globe. No info about how expensive it all is, etc. Of course, operating one track is considerably more expensive per rail km than operating many tracks, due to economics of scale, but you can't just give a company that has nothing but concepts billions of dollars/euros to deploy a technology that hasn't even a working prototype. I mean I'm not saying that hyperloop is a bad idea and that it will never work, but I'm neither sure of hyperloop working so well that it should be deployed.

      • " but you can't just give a company that has nothing but concepts billions of dollars/euros to deploy a technology that hasn't even a working prototype"

        Except this happens all the time in software. Not surprising someone like Musk expects it to happen with every pet hardware project he tries.
    • Or just build a 50 mile test track from San Jose to Palo Alto, and then up the Peninsula to SF. That would be enough to test the concept, and if it works, there would be plenty of demand from people that can afford the fare.

    • But Europe already has right-of-ways for high speed trains, which could be used for the hyperloop. And Musk is just discovering that those right of ways are the hardest part (which seemed obvious a while ago.).

      Now, Europe has those right of ways, because they already have high-speed trains, so they don't need the hyperloops....

  • Good luck in the UK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hoofie ( 201045 ) <graeme@grae[ ]ndkim.com ['mea' in gap]> on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:52PM (#54565705)
    I can't see this happening in the UK unfortunately. It's notoriously difficult, time-consuming and mind-bendingly expensive to obtain the land and permissions to build any new transport infrastructure corridors in the UK. The Rail lines High-Speed Route 1 was bad enough and High Speed Route 2 is bogged down in inquiries, corruption and phenomenal cost projections. High Speed Route 2 is 400km and is sitting at a cost of 56 billion pounds which will be well south of the final bill. Whilst hyperloop may be orders of magnitude cheaper per route km the fun and games in getting the land will be the same. And no, you can't put it in the air on pylons as "air rights" belong to the land holders too. Land ownership in the UK is incredibly fragmented so even a short distance means engaging with thousands of land holders. One approach would be to piggy back down the middle of major arterial roads on pylons as most trunk roads are now owned by the Crown although that's not a hard and fast rule - many minor roads sit on land still theoretically owned by someone else.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @12:47AM (#54565915)

      It's a train in a tunnel but with air sucked out of it. So the difference between a high speed train tunnel and this is the air suckage.

      So its put all the energy into keeping the air sucked out, instead of pushing the train against the air.

      But the air is a known problem, in the Channel Tunnels it's handled with vents connecting the two direction tunnels, they open and close so the pressure wave from the front of one train pushed the train in the other direction from behind. Chunnel is not watertight let alone air tight.

      So if you consider the costs of the Channel Tunnel GBP 9.5 billion for 31 miles of track, and the price.... the Chunnel competes with boats that are slow and expensive, a normal train has to compete with cars, coach, normal rail and flights.

      So say low interest 3% government loan, so that 31 miles of track needs to return GBP 285 million profit. Eurotunnel makes only about 51 million, and that's competing only against ferries.

      So hyperloop is basically hype. They cannot deliver on any of these ideas and their costings are comedically bad.

      • by RotateLeftByte ( 797477 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @03:48AM (#54566437)

        The fast trains between London and Paris (2hours city centre to city centre) has cut the number of flights dramatically between london and paris. More people are travelling between them now than ever before.
        The tunnel (road traffic) competes against the ferries. The Passenger tail service from London to Paris, Brussels etc competes against the airlines.
        I took the train from London to Avignon last year (a through service). Very much more civilised way of travelling than by air. Yes it took a bit longer but was far less stressful.

        • Not to mention the continued expansion of the Eurostar to Rotterdam and more importantly Amsterdam (European travel hub).

          Once that's done I'm not flying to our head office again. I can spend the extra hour doing work on the train rather than standing in a line to take my shoes and belt off.

        • by Zemran ( 3101 )
          Most chunnel journeys are faster than flying if you take the whole event into account rather than just the flying time. Travel to Heathrow, check in two hours before flight and wait, flight, wait for luggage and immigration, travel to European city...
          • That's why the train has taken more than 50% of the market between London and Paris.
            Taking the train is no big deal here in Europe unlike the USA. I don't even think about taking my car into Central London. 45 minutes on the train and the ticket includes Busses and tube. Simple really.

        • The Channel tunnel works better than ferries because it allows continuous traffic flow. Ferries have to transport vehicles in discrete chunks, with time taken to onload and offload them. With a tunnel, the vehicles can go straight through (as traffic allows) without having to stop. Same reason turbine engines (continuous fuel reaction) eventually replaced piston engines (fuel combusted in discrete chunks) for any applications needing high power generation.

          Hyperloop requires loading vehicles into a tra
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        A better model would be Japanese high speed rail. For a start, a lot of the profit comes form the stations which are basically big shopping centres. The station is a destination in itself, with shops, supermarkets, restaurants, daycare and more. The revenue from that subsidises the trains, which bring people to the shops.

        As for land, the new maglev track is over 90% tunnel. Through hard rock and difficult terrain. 800km/h, rising to well over 1000km/h. Hyperloop is 1500km/h but the cars are much smaller and

      • by Malc ( 1751 )

        Let's not downplay the cost of the Chunnel. £9.5 billion in 1994 is probably more like £18 billion once adjusted for inflation.

    • by nukenerd ( 172703 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @04:45AM (#54566569)

      I can't see this happening in the UK fortunately

      FTFY

      Whilst hyperloop may be orders of magnitude cheaper per route km ...

      Lay off the Kool-aid if I were you. Why should a railway in a vacuum tunbe be cheaper to build than a railway not in a vacuum tube? (Yes, yes, I know Musk and his fans don't like it called a "railway". OK, "Guided public transport", whatever).

      In fact it will involve far more expensive civil engineering because at its speed the curvature in both horizontal and vertical planes will need to be very very gentle - much more so than with conventional railways. So expect either mostly tunnels, or massive cuttings and viaducts. Those support pylons, that people keep glossing over as if it were a contour-hugging oil pipe, will need to be hundreds of feet high in some places.

      • by Zemran ( 3101 )
        You don't know anything. Troll (add additional expletives for effect). Huge pipes are much cheaper than thin rails to lay. They can even put the massive pipes in the air like elevated railways but you cannot build railways in the air like elevated railways because that would be too expensive. Duh!
      • Obviously the tracks in curves would be tilted.

  • progress! (Score:5, Funny)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:58PM (#54565729)

    Unlike so many previous ripoffs, this one has the "hype" right in the name!

  • by labnet ( 457441 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @12:28AM (#54565839)

    As an Engineer, I see always see the problems....

    - Thousands of sliding expansion joints that need to remain vacuum tight.
    - The psychology of being subjected to movement with no visual reference (vomit tube)
    - The problem of escaping people from a vacuum tube when something breaks. This would probably require uuuuge isolation valves every few km, and escape points closer than this, with emergency air infiltration systems, which then has to emergency break other pods who are then stuck in long queues with limited air, in battery powered coffins.
    - Long term maintenance: esp of underground parts requiring building a tunnel in a tunnel.
    - High capital cost of a complex pod requiring compressors, life support (aircon and air), batteries, recharging systems.
    - Being not much faster than a bullet train of much higher capacity, and slower than an aircraft.
    - Energy is becoming cheaper, so the main advantage of hyperloop is somewhat dulled.

    I'm sure other can add more

    • As an Engineer, I always see solutions to problems. I always thought that was the point of the job.
      • by labnet ( 457441 )

        As an Engineer, I always see solutions to problems. I always thought that was the point of the job.

        Sure, I solve problems all day: but before I take on a project, I like to know the risk/reward ratio and for Hyperloop it doesn't look like a great ratio.

      • As an Engineer, I always see solutions to problems. I always thought that was the point of the job.

        So let's see your plans for a free-as-in-beer time machine then.

        Oh no, wait, not everything is possible, either technically or economically.

      • As an Engineer, I always see solutions to problems. I always thought that was the point of the job.

        As an engineer I also see solutions to problems, but I also see their costs. All options have problems, but it is part of an engineers job to rule out those options with costs outweighing the advantages. Hyperloop is one of those, but as long as a billionaire nutter is paying engineers to work on it come-what-may, they will do so.

    • You missed one:

      • If anything goes even slightly wrong, you kill all the passengers and likely destroy much of the entire system.

      This has already been discussed rather extensively [youtube.com].

      • Everyone can make pointless videos like that.

      • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

        Oh, that Thunderf00t video...
        It raises very good points but the catastrophic failure argument doesn't hold. Ironically, a good demonstration is in one of his later video on the subject, the one with the imploding tank.
        First thing, yes, people may die, crashing at supersonic speeds tends to do that. It will be expensive, rescuing trapped people will be difficult, etc... Definitely not fun.
        However, what he misses is that the tube will be more than 100000 times longer than it is wide. The wall of air traveling

    • The psychology of being subjected to movement with no visual reference (vomit tube)

      This is an issue in ships and aircraft, which can move around violently depending on weather. In a high-speed train, by contrast, you hardly notice anything. In a TGV, 300 km/h feels like standing still, the only lurching about is when the train approaches a station at low speed and runs over old tracks. Hyperloop won't have points or crossings, and won't encounter trains running in the opposite direction, so should be a very smooth ride.

      • The psychology of being subjected to movement with no visual reference (vomit tube)

        In a high-speed train, by contrast, you hardly notice anything. In a TGV, 300 km/h feels like standing still Hyperloop .... should be a very smooth ride.

        Unless the Hyperloop is dead straight there will be lateral and vertical accelerations as it takes curves* and changes of gradient. At such high speed, the builders will need to push these to near the limit of average human tolerance, for example to skirt round geographical features (villages, cities, hills), minimise tunnelling and viaducts, or, when underground, avoid geological difficulties.

        I have never ridden the TGV myself, but those who have tell me there is quite a bit of "hump-back-bridge" sensatio

  • by Max_W ( 812974 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @12:37AM (#54565859)
    It is still impossible to go from say Vienna to Kharkov by train easily. Not even possible to buy a train ticket Vienna-Kharkov easily, - just as it was twenty years ago. A lot of talk about "European Integration", but nothing really changes on the ground.

    I do not believe that the Hyperloop One is feasible with this generation of quaint leadership in Europe. They can just talk big and well about climate change, integration, etc.

    Still in the 19th century there was the St. Petersburg-Wien-Nizza-Cannes-Express regular train https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] , there were no visas, and not even passports were necessary for travel. WW1 destroyed it all and we are still stuck there.
    • by dunkelfalke ( 91624 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @03:49AM (#54566445)

      Talking about cherry-picking your examples. Ukraine is only geographically in Europe. It uses a different gauge and its railway tracks probably weren't maintained since the 1980ies. Even their fastest train (Hyindai Intercity) runs about as fast as German commuter trains stop every two minutes. If you want to go to Kharkov, use an airplane from Kiev. It is an old B737, but at least it is fast. Trust me, I speak from experience. Besides, the only reason to go to Kharkov in first place would be for using it as a time machine - it still feels very much like USSR - but if you want that particular experience, Tiraspol would probably be more authentic.

    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @08:43AM (#54567353) Homepage Journal

      WW1 destroyed it all and we are still stuck there.

      The illusion is that "WW1" is over - there have been lulls and diversions, but right now the US military is trying to keep together the partitioning of the Middle East that the British imposed in the early days of the World War.

      Wilson and House's vision for a Pax Americana is just as wrong after a hundred years as it was then, and no amount of bombing the world for democracy can ever work. The premise and the goals of "WW1" are still playing out. Only once that strategy is abandoned can we be said to have given up the mantle of war.

      Truly, here in America, we are born into an "we've always been at war" mindset and people believe it to be the normal.

    • I do not believe that the Hyperloop One is feasible with this generation of quaint leadership in Europe.

      You could have stopped writing after the word "feasable".

    • A lot of talk about "European Integration", but nothing really changes on the ground.

      And what does European Integration have to do with non-EU countries?

  • They can always run the existing trains faster, they just don't like the wear on the tracks.

    If people want the hyperloop experience they can always just make one of the cars a lot smaller and take the window out.

    Come to think of it, if the train cars rode closer to the rails and were half the height they could probably just run the whole train 50% faster

  • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @01:01AM (#54566003)
    Just like any other snake-oil salesman.
  • by lindseyp ( 988332 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @02:55AM (#54566327)

    Hyperloop One has revealed its plans for connecting Europe via its Hyperloop transportation system that can* move passengers/cargo at airlines speeds for a fraction of the cost of air travel.

    *cannot

  • I saw one of their job offerings and applied for it (as an external contractor). In principle, just for fun, but I would certainly want to work with them in case that my proposal was accepted; basically, I said that I would deliver objective and honest assessments expected to be exclusively constrained by best engineering practices, physics and other intrinsic limitations (e.g., budget). In my application, I expressly highlighted my almost-intuitive scepticism regarding anything of this ever working as advertised.

    Clarification: although I do have a BEng in mechanical engineer and some experience in the field, most of my professional career has been focused on programming and numerical analysis. On the other hand, I applied for a work mostly consisting in numerically/theoretically assessing the actual applicability of the their intentions, an aspect where I am reasonably experienced. In any case, I honestly think that they can rightfully reject my application for various reasons other than my perhaps-too-honest intentions.
  • They should start with one. In one country and if possible one legal district. First you need to get acceptance of each local political entity. That mean city, province and state. And in each one you win, it must be connected to the next one and that all the way from start to finish.

    At the same time you need to compete with the fast trains that already exist all over Europe and are backed by public money.

    If they could start with just one and pull it off, that would be great. If you want to invest in money,

  • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @06:10AM (#54566711) Homepage Journal

    ...and one to connect Scotland with Wales.

    I have nothing against Scotland and Wales; however, I've never heard of the demand being that great for people in either country to get to the other and with the lack of available opportunities in both countries, I'm not really understanding the purpose of this...

    Since it's been proposed, perhaps someone could enlighten me as to what they intend to accomplish? I feel like I am missing something.

  • by idji ( 984038 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @06:16AM (#54566727)
    Go and look at their youtube channel. There is no content from engineering or production, it is all marketing and sales hype.
  • move passengers/cargo at airlines speeds for a fraction of the cost of air travel

    Only if you don't include the cost of building the infrastructure. Once you total up the cost of building an airtight tunnel for hundreds of miles, and of designing, proving and building the trains, carriages and stations to deal with near-vaccum travel, the cost of a ticket will far exceed the cost of a flight. We have had airports for decades and most of them are already paid-for, from past use.

  • Shouldn't they worry about making one connection anywhere before planning world domination. Seriously, we'll have the flying car before we get this piece of shit that's never going to work.
  • Europe already has a well-developed, mature rail system. Sure, it's not as fast as this 'hyperloop' alleges it'll be, but are you really in that much of a hurry? I thought Europeans liked their rail system which is why it's been around so long and is as extensive as it is. Why do they need 'hyperloop'? I don't think they do.

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