Comment of the Day: Texas Problems with a Texas Hyperloop

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TEXAS PROBLEMS WITH A TEXAS HYPERLOOP Cow Grazing on Subdivision“Setting aside the pie-in-the-sky[-ness of the] plan, is this track supposed to be underground 0r above ground? Either way, that’s going to cost a lot of money. And, talk about a tempting terrorist target. Underground: risk being buried alive. Above ground: risk being blown up in front of the people on the freeway. And cows. In front of cows.” [Hyperactive Imagination, commenting on Where a Houston Hyperloop Track Could Lead] Illustration: Lulu

8 Comment

  • A simple google search would show you that they are above ground and being tested very soon in the middle east. As for terrorist attacks, a state of the art track that is heavily monitored and carries few passengers in a single pod is a very low value target that goes with high risk.

    But, yeah, let’s kill a 15 minute trip to Austin because… cows.

  • And the sky might fall too

    I’m sure the thoughts are in jest, but seriously?

  • “And, talk about a tempting terrorist target.” – Then why go anywhere, why live life to the fullest? You should probably just stay home and never go/do anything that could be a terrorist target.

  • @ Neil: Yes, the thoughts were mostly tongue-in-cheek. Largely.

    @ Whynot: I’m not saying “don’t go anywhere, don’t live life to the fullest”. I’m saying that this hyperloop is not the best economic utility of dollars and materials. Too much effort, not enough payback (cash or psychic).

  • Terrorism?
    Here’s a nugget to put terrorism in perspective:
    “The chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. A person is as likely to be killed by his or her own furniture, and more likely to die in a car accident, drown in a bathtub, or in a building fire than from a terrorist attack.”

  • @Hyperactive Imagination – if it wasn’t about terrorist then you shouldn’t have lead with that. Maybe next time discuss the economics….

    I for one won’t mind a hyperloop

  • I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  • I’m really excited by the prospect of something like a hyperloop, even if it does just turn out to be maglev inside of an evacuated tube. I’ve been prognosticating on the possibilities of such technology for a very long time, even prior to Elon Musk talking it up. However, to be fair, it is very vulnerable to terrorism or natural disasters. Even a small breach of containment would quickly depressurize a section, and the next vehicle to intersect that point would be obliterated as it impacted the pocket of pressurized air. A more substantial breach could cause a situation similar to waterhammer in a plumbing system, with ramifications extending far down the lines. I’d imagine that containment systems could be engineered to limit the extent of damage in such an event, but not without substantial cost. Suffice it to say…there’s probably a good reason that Musk has started talking about tunnels recently.
    That being said, the potential use cases are frickin’ amazing. Imagine a three-line radial system centered on College Station and serving Houston, DFW, Austin, and San Antonio, with a single new airport built there to replace all commercial air traffic out of these four other regions. It’d easily be the largest and busiest single airport in the world, enabling airlines to use larger and more efficient aircraft out of perhaps several co-located hubs. It’d remove a tremendous amount of air and noise pollution from urban areas and would be able to effect direct connections directly into the middle of those areas. it also makes all of urbanized Texas into a single destination for purposes of tourism promotion and joins the cities at the hip for purposes of economic and workforce development initiatives. All of this is far more exciting than HSR.