I've been tracking the progress of the Los Angeles based company "Hyperloop One". Their vision is to create a vacuum-sealed Hyperloop train system that can move passengers and/or cargo at airline speeds at a fraction of the cost of air travel. The concept of Hyperloop transportation was introduced and named by Elon Musk in August 2013, though he has nothing to do with the company.
The Hyperloop train system came one step closer to reality last week, when a company working on bringing the transit system to life announced the next step in a global competition. Hyperloop One has selected 35 teams as finalists in its global challenge, who will now present regional proposals at three different showcases starting next month.
The current plan is to bring three routes into production over the next five years. Hyperloop One wants to connect cities in individual regions, and eventually, connect those regions to each other to make a giant network.
Closer to home, Ultra speed Australia Director Sean Duggan, representing California-based Hyperloop One, stated that Hyperloop technology could create a network of "30-minute cities."
It turns out that Melbourne to Sydney is the third busiest air corridor in the world.
Passengers could travel along the East Coast between Sydney and Melbourne in 55 minutes. The same trip currently requires 90 minutes by plane, 9.5 hours by car and 12 hours by train.
In recent news, mid February there was an announcement that Hyperloop are about to set up a development facility in Toulouse, France. The city is providing a 37,674 Sqft outdoor test space free of charge. The space is at a former military base. This opens up Europe to new possibilities. To be able to commute easily, and more importantly quickly, between countries, is a game changer.
I recall many of my friends sharing their stories in the late 1990's, of catching the tube in England and spending 3 hours a day just on the commute to work. Could we have imagined back then that you could be living in Paris and 30 mins later you could be at work in London?