Lewis W. Diuguid

Tube travel proposed to whisk people between major cities

Updated: 2013-08-13T23:29:42Z

By Lewis W. Diuguid

The Kansas City Star

People at the turn of the last century must have scoffed at the notion of one day getting inside a tube with wings and flying from one city to the next in a matter of hours.

The latest concept of rapid travel getting guffaws is a $6 billion Hyperloop being proposed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. It sounds better than a bullet train.

Musk wants to whisk people from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles in the low-pressure tube with capsules supported on a cushion of air., the San Jose Mercury News reports.

The tubes would cover the distance of 380 miles between the two cities in a half-hour. By car it would take five hours and 36 minutes.

The aluminum capsules would depart every 30 seconds, making is possible to transport 7.4 million people a year in the above-ground system that would run alongside Interstate 5. Musk said it may take seven to 10 years until the first passengers make the trip between California’s two biggest cities.

That would make it possible for people to live in the lovely Bay Area and commute each day to jobs in Los Angeles. Musk is the CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and SpaceX, the developer of rockets and spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station and different planets.

If Musk, who co-founded PayPal, succeeds with the Hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he could develop lines between Kansas City and St. Louis and connect the two cities to Chicago and even New York. Amtrak would be a thing of the past.

To reach Lewis W. Diuguid, call 816-234-4723 or send email to ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

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