Urban Transport

California is getting a Hyperloop, but not where you think

California is getting a Hyperl...
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop station at Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop station at Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track on the strip in Las Vegas (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track on the strip in Las Vegas (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop station at Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop station at Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track for Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track for Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop capsule (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop capsule (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop capsule (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop capsule (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Los Angeles (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Los Angeles (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Las Vegas (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Las Vegas (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Model of a Hyperloop tube (Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Model of a Hyperloop tube (Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Small wood model of a Hyperloop capsule Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Small wood model of a Hyperloop capsule Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn (Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn (Photo: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Los Angeles (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track in Los Angeles (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
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Elon Musk's Hyperloop is going to become a reality, but not quite on the grand scale it was originally conceived for just yet. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has reached an agreement to build a 5-mile (8-km) passenger track for Quay Valley, a proposed "sustainable model town for the 21st century" in California's central valley.

The Hyperloop has been described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and an air hockey table. For a full analysis of the design check out Gizmag's earlier coverage, but for now just picture an elevated tube that passenger capsules are able to travel through at velocities approaching the speed of sound.

While the original design was conceived with dreams of whisking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in only 30 minutes, the planned 5-mile Quay Valley track running alongside Interstate 5 isn't likely to be traveling at the top speeds imagined for the technology. Rather, HTT sees it as a way to create a demonstration Hyperloop that works in the real world, carrying real passengers.

"This installation will allow us to demonstrate all systems on a full scale and immediately begin generating revenues for our shareholders through actual operations," said HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn.

HTT is an odd sort of decentralized startup with nearly 200 team members that grew out of JumpStartFund, a crowdfunding and online collaboration incubator co-founded by Ahlborn, who is also CEO of the platform. It emerged in late 2013 to spearhead the creation of an actual Hyperloop after Musk made it clear he did not intend to build it on his own.

Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

HTT's plans for a Hyperloop track aren't the only such schemes in the works. Recently, Elon Musk offered to build an "open source" test track in Texas, a move that seemed as much about earning good will to sell Tesla cars direct to consumers in the state as much as anything else (he floated the idea at a transportation conference while on a trip to lobby state legislators to change laws requiring cars be sold through dealers). Another startup called Hyperloop Technologies, with the involvement of big names like Obama campaign strategist Jim Messina and XPrize Foundation chair Peter Diamandis, is looking into building a Hyperloop that could also move cargo around.

But HTT's plans seem to be moving forward at mach speed. Earlier this month the company announced it would be holding an initial public offering later in 2015 to raise US $100 million. Now it says the formal agreement reached with GROW Holdings, the developer of Quay Valley, will allow construction of the track to begin next year.

Quay Valley has been in the works for several years, but the proposal was put on hold when the recession hit in the last decade. Sitting on 7,500 acres (3,035 hectares) halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, it's imagined as a green, self-sustaining, solar-powered hub for logistics, retail and tourism with room for 25,000 homes.

Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track for Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)
Concept rendering of a Hyperloop track for Quay Valley (Image: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

"With Quay Valley, we’re creating a community built on economical, environmental and social sustainability, and part of this is seeking to reduce car dependency," said Quay Hays, CEO of GROW Holdings, Inc. "For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay."

Source: JumpStartFund

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8 comments
MetaphorsBeWithYou
I live in the mountains What kind of capabilities does this have on steep grades such as the famous Saluda Grade in North Carolina?
Freyr Gunnar
http://images.gizmag.com/inline/hyperloop-quay-valley-1.jpg
I love the wind turbine in the background.
Will the train stop when the wind stops blowing?
What materials do wind turbines need for manufacturing?
Nairda
baby steps.
Though MetaphorsBeWithYou does have a point. Maybe the coils have to be placed closer together and higher current to tailor for inclines. Then equally so on the other side to recover it all.
JPAR
So a 5 mile track means its going to be about 2.5 miles between each stop? So what sort of speed/acceleration is going to be possible/comfortable in such a short space? 200 mph max?
Stephen N Russell
Hope they upgrade HTT for mini city use IE Malibu to Palm Springs or Bev Hills to Pasadena, Palm Springs to Dwtn LA runs
Russell Willmoth
On such a short circular track, as it gets up to top speed, will dizziness not be a problem?
John Hogan
At 8 miles I would want one track on an arrow straight line, right into the middle of each centre. Maybe a turntable at either end. Quick walk, quick ride, quick walk. It's only going to be 2 to 4 minutes each way - it would be years before a rudimentary single unit proof of concept like this was saturated.
It sounds workable to me, provided the design has the ergonomics and frequency. Aside from speed, they need to get this thing smooth. No bumping, shaking or jerking like a rattly old train. It's got to be a magic carpet ride that makes cars look sad. That means very tight tolerances on everything and careful thought given to the rolling stock.
Martin Winlow
I don't imagine 'steep' grades will be an issue - there won't be any!
Even over 5 miles, assuming no more than +/- 2g ac/deceleration (much more will have everyone feeling very unwell) you can get to 400mph in 10 seconds and cruise for another 15 before having to start slowing down again. So, a reasonable basis for testing the idea.
Dizziness implies cornering sensation and there wont be any because the pods will automatically bank in the corners which will be shallow enough not to induce to much 'vertical' acceleration on the banked body.
Why arrow straight? Not very practical! Nor necessary. No turntable required as pods will be capable of bi-directional travel. I don't understand the se of the word 'saturated' in the context...? Nor 'frequency' for that matter. You must be a scientist... or a politician. Pods will effectively float on air - it doesn't get much better than that... a vacuum, maybe... so 'rolling stock' is an archaic term that wouldn't really apply. MW