California City wants to build Hyperloop route

Author: Mario Schmidtgen
Date: 08.08.2018

City burdened by masses of commuters

The Californian city Cupertino hosts beside the headquarters of Apple also numerous other IT companies. Every morning and evening, crowds of commuters rush in and out of the city. Because of that, the city now wants to build a Hyperloop route and is already negotiating about that.

The Hyperloop is a train that should run up to 1223 kilometers per hour. So the journey to the city of San José would take only about five minutes instead of about one hour, mentioned Berry Chang, city councilor and former mayor of Cupertino. Pumps create a vacuum in a closed tunnel, which in turn reduces air resistance and allows the train to move at high speed without requiring much energy. The capsules are in a floating state and driven and braked by electromagnets.

The city of Cupertino itself has around 60,000 inhabitants. But the city is flooded every day by a significant amount of commuters. The reason for that is that Apple, Seagate, Trend Micro and other companies and start-ups have their headquarters in Cupertino.

The concept of the Hyperloop was already presented to the public in August 2013 by Tesla boss Elon Musk. The company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, from the German Dirk Ahlborn, should build the train in Cupertino. According to Ahlborn, the train will revolutionize society: choices for jobs, interpersonal relationships and the perception of distance will change.

Critical voices already question whether the realization of the Hyperloop is feasible. The capsules will weigh 20 tons and in order to accelerate them to almost the speed of sound, the tube needs pressure ratios like in space. Furthermore, it is questioned whether this is affordable over a distance of over one hundred kilometers and what happens in the case of an environmental disaster or a terrorist attack.

Nevertheless, the technology is well received worldwide. In 2016, the Dubai Transport Authority was already interested in a feasibility study. Lufthansa also enjoyed the idea of the Hyperloop.

If the route and the train were actually built, the city of Cupertino would ask the resident companies to pay. In addition, companies should pay a price per capita for the maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure.