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Cross-posted from its origin station at Voices on the Square

On Monday, entrepreneur Elon Musk launched on attack on the California HSR system in the guise of a pie in the sky alternative that he has dubbed the "Hyperloop". Now, I got into this topic from the back end, since I waited for the technical people to download the PDF and chew into it before giving it a serious look, so when I first encountered the notion floated that this is just a car builder (well, an electric car builder) attacking a rival form of transport, I thought that might involve some shaky inference regarding motive for otherwise puzzling statements ...

... but then I read the first paragraph of the blog post where he introduced the proposal, and there really isn't any doubt:

When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying “one of”. The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.
So this is explicitly a proposal from the guy who made big bucks on an internet payment system, Paypal, showing how the California HSR is old, outdated technology and if he wasn't busy doing other things, why, he could give us an intercity transport system that would knock our socks off.

Earning the Title Hype-Loop

But then, given the same internet on which Elon Musk made his bucks, people downloaded the proposal and tore it to shreds. Basically, the cost estimates are hype, the passenger capacity estimates are hype, the actual connection of LA to SF is hype, the passenger comfort claims are hype ... indeed, there are claims in the piece about the California HSR system that are outright lies. There is every reason to dub it the Hype-Loop.

Alon Levy, mathematician who blogs about transport issues on the side:

My specific problems are that Hyperloop a) made up the cost projections, b) has awful passenger comfort, c) has very little capacity, and d) lies about energy consumption of conventional HSR. All of these come from Musk’s complex in which he must reinvent everything and ignore prior work done in the field; these also raise doubts about the systems safety that he claims is impeccable.
What is this awful passenger comfort:
... This is worse than sideways acceleration: track standards for vertical acceleration are tighter than for horizontal acceleration, about 0.5-0.67 m/s^2, one tenth to one seventh what Musk wants to subject his passengers to. It’s not transportation; it’s a barf ride.
Stop And Move, from Fresno-based urban policy, development and transportation blogger James Sinclair:
Amusingly enough, the California HSR budget for the Central Valley is under $10 billion. Ie, in the same ball-park as this proposal.  The reason the HSR project is going to cost $60 billion is because it has to face an uncomfortable truth; actually getting to LA and SF is expensive. Very expensive. That's where there's no free land. That's where you have years of property acquisition. In the shorter term, the plan for HSR is to simply share existing tracks, which the Hyperloop can't do.
So either the budget explodes, or the project doesn't actually serve the main cities. You can't have it both ways.
In the comments of the California HSR blog, Clem, who runs the Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog, has a list of eight "show stoppers, including security, which addresses the claim that there will be no need to fence this system off, since the pylons and the tub itself provides all the security required:
Show Stopper #3: Security-wise, it’s easy to destroy this system by making a small dent in the tube. Yes, it’s one inch thick steel, but there are easily attainable ways to dent one-inch steel. When you hit a small bump protruding inside the tube while going at Mach 0.9, nothing good can possibly happen regardless of capsule suspension design. As proposed the system is impossible to secure.
... and passenger capacity, based on egregiously unrealistic headways:
Show Stopper #1: There will always be the risk of equipment failure or tube damage that will cause a sudden and unplanned stop, which dictates the headway between vehicles. This minimum headway, regardless of how fancy and automated the traffic control system, is a simple and necessary consequence of “shit happens” and creates an inherent capacity limitation for fixed-guideway transportation systems, of which the Hyperloop is just another example, after you look past all the high tech.

The minimum headway consists of the following time contributions:

  • the time for the preceding capsule to clear a junction and free the routing through the junction to be changed for the following capsule
  • the time for the route through the junction to be changed
  • the time for the control system to confirm the new route is clear
  • the time for the following capsule to perform an emergency stop if the new route is not clear for whatever reason
  • a bit of extra time for safety margin.

This is no different than for HSR, and the resulting minimum headways are usually several times longer than the emergency braking distance. HSR deals with the capacity limitation imposed by the minimum headway by (1) packing a huge number of people into one vehicle, e.g. two double-decker trains coupled together with over 1200 passengers, and (2) by operating at top speeds that strike an optimal balance between reasonable braking distances and close headways. Hyperloop can’t strike this balance: in order to work, it requires very high speeds (and greater emergency braking distances), can carry only a few passengers per capsule, and requires relatively short headways. The two-minute headway assumed in section 4.1 is speculative at best, and it’s not at all a given that the Hyperloop could ever provide the same transportation throughput (in passengers per hour per direction) than plain old HSR. Not by a long shot. The minimum headway question is fixed guideway system design 101, and may be the Achilles’ heel of the whole concept. It is not sufficiently addressed in the document.

The project has a billed cost of $6b to get from LA to SF, but that would actually be Sylmar toward the northern edge of LA County through to the southern edge of Oakland in the SF-Oakland metropolitan area. Getting it into downtown SF and downtown LA would cost dramatically more.

The project has a billed maximum capacity of 3,360 passengers each hour, 20%-25% of the maximum capacity of the HSR and about 34% more capacity than a lane of freeway at an average 1.25 passengers per vehicle. But as Greater Greater Washington points out, when the egregiously unrealistic headways are modified to merely optimistic headways, the capacity of the system falls away:

That means that the minimum separation between pods is probably closer to 80 seconds or more. Not a big deal. It still means 45 departures per hour. But that's only 1,260 passengers per hour in capacity. That's 10% of what the California High-Speed Rail can carry.

With a capacity of 1,260 passengers per tube, that means that the Hyperloop would need 10 tubes in each direction (not 1) to move the same number of passengers as the proposed high-speed line. And that would push the cost up by 10, which is actually more than the cost of the HSR.

So the project has a billed cost of $6b to get from LA to SF, because its built on pylons, so land acquisition is not required, making it cheaper. When we adjust for the promised capacity, we would have to build four to five systems to match the maximum HSR system capacity, so the headline "$6b cost" is not really a 90% discount: its actually a 40% to 60% cost discount. If we adjust it for a still optimistic but less unrealistic headway, the discount disappears.

And there's no reason to believe that building on pylons would in reality end up to be cheaper, as Alon Levy points out:

In reality, an all-elevated system is a bug rather than a feature. Central Valley land is cheap; pylons are expensive, as can be readily seen by the costs of elevated highways and trains all over the world. The unit costs for viaducts on California HSR, without overhead and management fees, are already several times as high as Musk’s cost: as per PDF-page 15 of the cost overrun breakdown, unit costs for viaducts range from $50 million to $80 million per mile. Overheads and contingencies convert per-mile cost almost perfectly to per-km costs. And yet Musk thinks he can build more than 500 km of viaduct for $2.5 billion, as per PDF-page 28 of his proposal: a tenth the unit cost. The unrealistically low tunnel unit cost is at least excused on PDF-page 31 on the grounds that the tunnel diameter is low (this can also be done with trains if they’re as narrow as Hyperloop, whose capsule seating is 2-abreast rather than 4- or 5-abreast as on HSR; see below on capacity). The low viaduct unit cost is not.
 
Solving the Wrong Problem Normally Doesn't Solve the Problem

What is the problem that Elon Musk is solving? The claim is that its that the California HSR system is (a) slow and (b) expensive.

What about the slow? LA and San Francisco are 341 miles apart (as the crow flies), and at 2hrs, 40 minutes, that means that the average line-of-sight speed of the express California HSR is 130mph. The trains may be able to go 220mph, but given the terrain, if an HSR system was built on a straight line route, the cost would be in excess of $100b. It is necessary to run through the Central Valley where the HSR alignment is relatively cheap. But on the other hand, this means that the California HSR corridor is able to serve Central Valley communities, where HSR service is worth more per person than in LA or San Francisco, both because the Central Valley is underserved with intercity transport at present, and because it is closer to LA and San Francisco than either are to each other.

Then, in an alignment choice that is controversial in some quarters, the southern access to the Central Valley is via the more eastern Tehachapi Pass rather than the more westerly Tejon Pass. Whether this is because of the greater difficulty of the Tejon Pass alignment or the political efforts of Palmdale can be the cause of endless online discussion involving a small number of dedicated Tejon Pass alignment partisans, but the end result is to take a semi-circle from Sylmar in northern LA county through the Tehachapi Pass instead of a nearly direct shot north from Sylmar to Bakersfield.

But its quite clear that Elon Musk doesn't really give a damn about door to door transit speed, if he is anchoring his Hyperloop in Sylmar and not bothering to get to downtown LA. So the transit speed is not the issue, its that the steel wheel on steel rail HSR will "only" goes 220mph when it hits the flat, straight alignments of the Central Valley, and 220mph just isn't as sexy as 700mph.

And cost? That is comparing apples to oranges, since to get the same capacity on any realistic headway, his system would cost as much as the Orange County through Downtown LA to Fresno to San Jose to Downtown SF California HSR, and then only by assuming magical pylon construction costs, and even then would only run from northern LA county to the southern edges of Oakland

And of course the capacity of his proposed system drops if any appreciable share of passengers are overweight or have long stays on the other side, since he assumes 220lbs per passenger including luggage.

And of course, his assumed sideways accelerations seem likely to make the last part of the half hour quite unpleasant. With half an hour in a sardine can, and an hour or more transit on either side, somebody in a pod of 20+ people is likely to have eaten before entering the sardine can, so it will be a common occurrence for someone to barf, which will likely cause someone else just holding it in to barf.

All of this, of course, starting a decade or more in the future, since even if the project was funded today, it would still first be an R&D project that will have to prove out Elon Musk's extraordinarily optimistic assumptions before the project can go ahead.

Of course, Elon Musk is just putting this proposal out there: he is not going to be pursuing it himself. He's busy building expansive electric cars for rich people and working on the SpaceX project, so doesn't have time to take his proposal from concept PDF through R&D to implementation.

What is the Problem to be Solved?

The fact that Elon Musk was able to make a pile of money being the front-runner on getting substantial market share for an online payments system up doesn't make him any less of a dilettante when it comes to transport technology. The problem to be solve is:

  • Provide an alternative intercity transport system for California:
  • 1. Connecting all of the largest and most of the intermediate population centers
  • 2. That can be powered by sustainable, renewable power;
  • 3. Using already-existing transport technology
  • 4. That can attract a substantial share of the existing intercity transport demand.

The California HSR system meets criteria 2-4 by design. Unlike the promised half hour roller coaster ride in an enclosed sardine can, the HSR would offer an opportunity to get work done or watch a movie, get up and stretch your legs, and to go get a snack if you didn't have a chance to grab on before catching the train. Over Phases 1 and 2, the California HSR system connects all of the largest and most of the intermediate population centers in the state.

By contrast, the Hyperloop only meets criteria 2. It is proposed to use an untested, yet to be developed technology, and as proposed would never offer trip comfort that would attract a substantial share of passengers, so as proposed, it fails criteria 3 and 4.

Regarding the number one target for the California HSR system, consider the top fifteen California urban areas (2010 census), which are the ones with populations greater than 350,000 ~ 15 of about 110 urban areas across the US. These are not Metropolitan Areas, but continuous urban areas with boundaries defined by population density. These are by US Rank, Name and population.

Here are the ones served by both the California HSR and the Hyperloop (HSR1/HSR2 is HSR Phase 1 and Phase1, Hyperloop1/Hyperloop2 is the base Hyperloop proposals and the branch network system:

  • (#2) Los Angeles--Long Beach--Anaheim, CA, 12,150,996, HSR1, Hyperloop1 (just barely)
  • (#13) San Francisco--Oakland, CA, 3,281,212, HSR1, Hyperloop1
  • (#15) San Diego, CA, 2,956,746, HSR2, Hyperloop2
  • (#28) Sacramento, CA, 1,723,634, HSR2, Hyperloop2
  • (#63) Fresno, CA, 654,628, HSR1, Hyperloop2

Here are the ones directly served by the HSR system, but not the Hyperloop System:

  • (#22) Riverside - San Bernandino, 1,932,666, HSR2
  • (#29) San Jose, CA, 1,664,496, HSR1
  • (#79) Bakersfield, CA, 523,994, HSR1
  • (#87) Murrieta--Temecula--Menifee, CA, 441,546, HSR2
  • (#102) Stockton, CA, 370,583, HSR2
  • (#105) Modesto, CA, 358,172, HSR2
  • (#112) Lancaster--Palmdale, CA, 341,219, HSR1

Here are the ones served by the Hyperloop but not the HSR:

And here are the ones directly served by neither, with their Amtrak California service:

  • (#66) Concord, CA, 615,968 (Capital Corridor)
  • (#69) Mission Viejo--Lake Forest--San Clemente, CA, 583,681 (Surfliner)
  • (#103) Oxnard, CA, 367,260, (Surfliner)

The two cities along the Surfliner route are offered superior cross-platform connections to the Phase 1 California HSR system at Anaheim and LA Union Station, while if the Hyperloop actually ends on the southern edge of Oakland, then the city along the Capital Corridor route is offered a superior connection by the Hyperloop.

All in all, the California HSR plan not only offers superior intercity transportation access in downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco, but also offers effective intercity transportation services far deeper into the California urban hierarchy than the Hyperloop proposal.

Now, the California HSR system certainly is not exactly the project as I would design it, but then again the Hyperloop would not be as Elon Musk would design it, if it passed through R&D and turned out to have one or more design alternatives that met some transport task ... at that point it would go into the political meat grinder, backed up by existing private and public property rights. Whether pursued as a public project or a private one, there would be interests objecting to it, interests supporting it in general but on a different alignment, and, particularly, since it offer an airplane-style point to point service rather than a train-style route corridor service, interests arguing that resources invested in serving the point to point corridor chosen should rather be spent providing some other service to some other part of the state.

It is, after all, the politicial meat grinder backed up by existing private and public property rights that is responsible for much of the cost of the California HSR system. Put the system in the hands of a "benevolant dictator" whose dictate cannot be over-ridden and who, just conveniently (and slightly implausibly), wants to put it through in the most cost effective way available, and tens of billions could be trimmed off the project cost.

Which is what this proposal highlights: the difference between imagining a major intercity transport system and actually working through the plan to implement it would quite easily account for the promised 40%-60% cost discount per passenger capacity, even if there was a shred of credibility to that cost estimate.

Now, I'm all in favor of pursuing research and development on this technology as a transport option. However, it shouldn't be pursued on the basis of implausible hype. Rather than offering a cheaper and faster intercity transport option, this seems most likely to offer a more expensive and faster intercity transport option. And if this technology is ever developed, whether its worth the extra cost to go however much faster this really permits us to go will be the debate.

Indeed, despite Elon Musk seeming to think this offers an alternative to an HSR system, the most cost-effective place for one or both ends of a Hyperloop Tube corridor could well be at an HSR station, allowing passengers to be effectively recruited and distributed over a much greater area around the hyperloop terminus without requiring massive acreage to be set aside for parking lots.

Conversations, Considerations and Contemplations

As always, rather looking for some overarching conclusion, I now open the floor to the comments of those reading.

If you have an issue on some other area of sustainable transport or sustainable energy production, please feel free to start a new main comment. To avoid confusion among those who might be tempted to yell "off topic!", feel free to use the shorthand "NT:" in the subject line when introducing this kind of new topic.

And if you have a topic in sustainable transport or energy that you want me to take a look at in the coming month, be sure to include that as well.

Originally posted to Sunday Train on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics, Voices on the Square, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Point and Switches (12+ / 0-)

    How does Must propose points (switching tracks)?

    Lack of ability to switch tracks killed monorail "systems".

    No points, no system.

  •  How do you handle emergency exits? (12+ / 0-)

    If a car hangs up in the tube, and everything stops, how can you safely exit the pod into what is supposed to be a low-pressure environment. With the HSR, you can just get out and walk.

    And remembering the lessons from the early London Underground, how attractive would it be to be cooped up in a windowless pod, in a steel tube? Lack of visual cues would probably accentuate the acceleration effects you mention in the diary, Bruce.

    I think Mr. Musk should stick to the task of expanding his electric car line and space transport systems, and not be wasting everyone's time with "extrusion transport".

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:23:03 PM PDT

    •  It is not surprising that so much of ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... the representations show the tube as mostly transparent, since that kind of peeled away illustration is a  standard way to explain something like this ... but it does dramatically represent the claustrophobic feeling of traveling in a two-across vehicle in a steel tube.

      I don't know what you'd put on LCD screens along the sides to overcome that.

      I don't know how you handle emergency exits ... all rail tunnels beyond a certain length have periodic emergency shelters ... I have seen a double tube rail tunnel design with a third smaller emergency access/egress tube in between the rail tunnels.

      That would be Yet Another Budget Blowout for this technology.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember an earlier version of this... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, geomoo, RAST

        ...idea, and the cars were drawn up as something resembling cylindrical Talgo units, complete with diaphrams between the cars, back in the 1960's. I thought back then that I wouldn't want to ride for a long period of time in something like that!

        There was also a model high-speed pneumatic transport system set up in a basement corridor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, back in the 70's when I was a student there. The line terminated into a "catcher", made of three 55-gallon drums welded together, filled with sandbags. Imagine scaling that up!

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:49:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Passenger farting (11+ / 0-)

      Eventually, you have enough compressed methane to burn through the 1 inch thick steel tubes and cut and exit hole.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:31:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When possible, go to next station... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr

      Just like any mass transit system.

      But the second option would be for retracted wheels from the car to come out and push the car to an exit portal.

      If there was an even worse problem, they can repressurize the tube and a non-linear motor driven car could come up to your car under its own power to push!

      It is an engineer's job to imagine everything that can go wrong. THEN to think up solutions!

      •  The point is, the costing for this proposal ... (7+ / 0-)

        ... is done without any engineer actually proceeding to do that. The stations are hundreds of miles apart, so an ability to limp into the next station implies tube constipation. To be able to accelerate the vehicles up to 700mph and let them coast for hundreds of miles, you can't have a vehicle puttering along at a slower speed. The tube has to be cleared of any low speed traffic before normal operation can proceed.

        But there is no cost for exit portals. There is no cost for emergency recovery vehicle in bays. And the emergency recovery vehicles couldn't accelerate themselves and however, many stranded vehicles are ahead of them up to 700mph, so that approach would still face the tube constipation problem.

        You address whether addressing the problem might be technically feasible, but that's not the question. The question is whether its technically feasible to do that at zero additional cost.

        Because a cost comparison is being present to a system with all of those safety elements already costed in.

        There is no restart mechanism in the proposal, which is an issue for a system where the speed of 700mph is provided by linear accelerators built into fixed parts of the tube, and so which cannot be accelerated back up to 700mph on its own power.

        Since the argument being made is that the costing of the Hyperloop proposal is doesn't add up, pointing out additional cost elements that could be added to make the system functional is supporting the argument, not contesting it.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:20:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fair points, but... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr, JesseCW

          How often are you expecting a car to have to "limp along" back to the station? This is for extraordinary circumstances.

          But, yes, there has to be exit portals. Want to bet that HSR has some need-to-have item that aren't on the budget yet?

          And the best thing about the entire proposal is the lack of high speed engine on the car.

          The fact that HSR has this huge, heavy locomotive is exactly why it is too slow and too expensive.

          •  If there need to be exit portals, ... (4+ / 0-)

            ... you are making my case for me about Elon Musk's cost claims, because Elon Musk does not budget for them.

            As far as:

            The fact that HSR has this huge, heavy locomotive is exactly why it is too slow and too expensive.
            ... too slow for what? 180mph HSR train work well in a wide variety of settings, and California will be using a 220mph train.

            ... too expensive for what? Its clearly cheaper for the passenger capacity than Elon Musk's Hyperloop would be in reality, and you seem to think that the Hyperloop would be worth the price ... so it follows that the cheaper California HSR would also be worth the price.

            And  since you keep spinning this deceptive picture of the California HSR being pulled by an Amtrak locomotive, a train with half the axle load of normal freight mainline locomotives,

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:58:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When you say 'would be in reality'... (0+ / 0-)

              That's when I know you are starting to lie to me.

              Presenting opinion as fact. An opinion that ignores everything that makes Musk's proposal attractive.

              •  Ditto, except ... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice, geomoo, triv33, psyched

                ... you haven't sourced a single claim, and my diary is chock full of sources.

                I am not going to spend an hour researching why something that only took you a minute to fabricate is false.

                The burden of proof is on you to provide sources to substantiate your claim, when you are disputing a diary that has started out with its sources available for all to click through to.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:40:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  This is the "Taking four times longer is better (0+ / 0-)

                because you can walk around during the lengthy trip" guy.

                There's a point at which obsession with a prefered mode of travel just becomes a set of blinders.

                It's never good to try to apply to much reason when dealing with the hyper dedicated "Train Enthusiast" crowd.  I've learned that from trying to explain to them why we can't do away with trucks and have choo-choo trains running to every mall and grocery store.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:10:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Its not four times longer ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... except for a minority of the population of the LA urban area who live close to Sylmar.

                  Indeed, much of the population of the LA urban area have not just one, but two airports that are closer to them than Sylmar.

                  Clearly having a larger portion of the trip settled into your seat is a superior feature of rail over plane travel, but the market experience is that HSR train travel generally dominates air travel under two hour train trips, is competitive with air travel over two to three hours, and concedes the majority of the combined market to air over four hours.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:25:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Except that his design *does* call for emergency (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              exits.  And the budget is in the cost of the tube itself.  Raw steel is $400/tonne.  Finished steel parts produced to HSR-tolerances run about $800/tonne, going by the Tata contract for the Mecca-Medina line.  Musk is budgeting his tubes at a rate of over $1200/tonne.  

              California will be using a 220mph train.
              Right.  You're going to go at 220 miles an hour through cities.  Through train stations with stopped trains and people on platforms.  Through busy metro areas, with pedestrians.  Through legs of shared track with local trains and freight trains.  All of which is extensively called for in the HSR proposal.  

              Right.  By the way, want to buy some swampland?

              Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

              by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:54:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nobody serious would read ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrypinder

                ... the speed that the train is capable of as a claim that it will be operating at that speed over every mile of its route.

                Nobody who intended to be taken seriously would pretend that they had read the speed that the train is capable of as a claim that it will be operating at that speed over every mile of its route.

                You are the person who wrote a call-out diary for this one, and did a big "gotcha" on Alon Levy pointing out that normal maximum lateral acceleration in practice is in the range of 0.5m/s^2 to 0.69m/s^2 and breathlessly declared that Elon Musk had a limit of 0.5g ...

                ... or, in other words, 4.9m/s^2.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:30:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  One question. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, agent, Yoshimi, geomoo
    That's where there's no free land. That's where you have years of property acquisition. In the shorter term, the plan for HSR is to simply share existing tracks, which the Hyperloop can't do.
    Why can't highway medians be used to get around land acquisition?
    •  Well, there are those pesky viaducts... (6+ / 0-)

      ...over the highway. If the tubes are on pylons, they would have to be high enough to clear those. If the tubes were built at-grade with the highway, they would become vulnerable to any accidents that occur along the highway, which could, at the least, dent the tubes. And living in a city with rapid transit lines in expressway medians (Chicago), accidents do affect even regular rail lines!

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:55:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They'd often slow down the trains ... (8+ / 0-)

      ... since the curve envelope for highway curves is inside the curve envelope for a 220mph train, and also because highways allow steeper slopes.

      That's why its more common for HSR to be put in place to one side or the other of a highway when using a highway alignment, which allows more leeway for the high speed curves.

      However, the core problem for that specific point is that where the land acquisition is hard, in places like downtown LA and downtown SF, there is no highway median available. The highway median is available out in the middle of the Central Valley where the land is not expensive: in downtown LA expressways, its a concrete divider, not a median.

      However, in the right terrain and if its planned in advance and retained, then its quite possible to use highway median alignment. The Florida HSR corridor, which their larcenous governor killed by handing the funding back, was an 180mph system in a reserved median alignment.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:56:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to the proposal ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, HeyMikey, JesseCW

      ... that is exactly what is assumed for the Hyper-Loop route, except where the turn radius is too tight to to keep accelerations below 0.5g.
      It follows the I-5/I-580 corridor for most of the way.

      pdf

    •  Interchanges & pylon spacing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      Think about getting the tube from one side of a major interchange to another. Either you have HUGE pylons to bridge over, or you can't get there.

      Going over interchanges would have all kinds of fun engineering challenges, and there goes your cost estimate.

      We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

      by Urban Owl on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:20:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No one has EVER built a bridge in Earth's history! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat4everrr, Rei, Yoshimi, JesseCW

        I expect this at a red state type political website.

        •  I know... this whole diary is garbage. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr, Jack M

          I started writing a reply, and instead, I think I'm just going to write a whole diary.

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:16:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Diary published. (0+ / 0-)

            Link.

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:47:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "whole diary is garbage"? (5+ / 0-)

            Wow.  There seem to be quite a few inarguable facts in it that I find very very useful in beginning to consider this issue, about which I know very little.  Here's hoping YOUR diary will be equally well sourced, well explained, and well argued.  But even if it isn't, I doubt the whole thing will be garbage.

            I see you have occasionally challenged aspects that you think are mistaken.  That is helpful for someone like me.  I don't know why you need to go running off to create your own diary instead of discussing in this one.  So far, the discussion is quite enlightening.

            Jeez.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:32:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's also a huge pile of completely (0+ / 0-)

              gratuitous Musk bashing and heavy helping of

              "Harrumph!!  Don't touch my Choo Choo!!!"

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:15:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well then. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice, terrypinder

                Feel free to call it all garbage, especially if the attitude doesn't suit you.

                Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                by geomoo on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:20:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Where is any gratuitous Musk bashing? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice, terrypinder

                I wrote the diary and I'm not aware of having written any.

                The costing of the proposal seems to be full of holes and his proposed network doesn't come close to the footprint of the HSR system. But that is bashing of a proposal written by Musk, which is obviously not the same thing as bashing Musk.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:36:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dilettante? Really? (0+ / 0-)

                  You can't have actually read your own diary.  You leveled a dozen personal attacks on the guy.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:36:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  As far as 'don't touch my Choo Choo' ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                ... nobody forced Elon Musk to make his proposal an attack on the HSR. But once he decided to do it, he shouldn't have done such a half-assed job of it. He couldn't even be bothered to use the energy consumption of HSR trains as "trains" energy consumption.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:39:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're fascinated with one form of technology (0+ / 0-)

                  You're a hobbyist.

                  Someone fucked with your hobby.  I get it.

                  But the mountain of personal invective made it clear that your response was entirely emotional.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:37:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm fascinated with many forms of ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gooderservice, terrypinder

                    ... technology, but the Sunday Train is about sustainable transport and energy.

                    Somebody claims he can build a sustainable system better and cheaper than the most substantial alternative to car and air intercity transport to get off the ground in the United States in the past twenty years ...

                    ... and the claim is full of shit, as any serious examination of this proposal reveals it to be, I am not going to call it rose fertilizer to make his legion of internet admirers happy.

                    Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                    by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:05:12 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Your source free, fact free, ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice, geomoo

          ... arguments filled with "let suppose if" assumptions designed to reach the conclusion you wish to reach ...

          ... that is what I expect to see at a red state type political website.

          The difference is not supposed to be the conclusions that we reach, the difference is supposed to be that we reach the conclusions that the actual information takes us to.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:01:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  well, it'd be bigger than that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, BruceMcF, geomoo

        that's why I say his costs are way off. the interchanges overpasses and other bridges would have to be re-engineered. That means more right of way acquired. That's a process that takes years and lots of money.

        I didn't even get into the environmental studies required. That's another cost.

        Hyperloop's evangelists really need to sit down and take a look at how expensive building any form of transportation actually is, how it's funded, how it's paid for, and what that money goes toward. And I say that as a general fan of the concept of hyperloop. 6 billion? off by a whole lot. Even if it were built entirely with private money.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

        by terrypinder on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:59:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Highway medians are mostly gone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, geomoo, icemilkcoffee

      in California highways anywhere where the road is more than two lanes each way. We used it to add lanes already.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Satellite views disagree with you. (0+ / 0-)

        Link

        Can't fit a pylon in there every 100 feet?  :)

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:00:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, right in the central valley (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          geomoo, BruceMcF, terrypinder

          where there are two lanes each way... there is still median. Just like I said.

          However, nearly anywhere where they've added a third lane in each direction, they take the median first. And this would describe most non-rural California highways... and even some relatively rural ones. They're doing it in Sonoma county right now.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:11:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Show me (0+ / 0-)

            Show me specifically on I-5 what you're talking about.  Because I've been randomly sampling I-5 all over the place and I'm not finding anywhere that couldn't support a (rather thin) pole in the median along the described route.  At the very least what you described does not describe the vast majority of the route, if it describes any of the route at all.

            In fact, I'm not sure what you're describing is even legal.   The Wikipedia page on Interstate Highway standards states, as one of the requirements for an interstate:

            Median width: Minimum median width of 36 feet (11 m) in rural areas, and 10 feet (3.0 m) in urban or mountainous areas.
            10 feet is more than adequate.  So please give me an example of something contradicting that here.

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:19:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's actually legal, and done all over. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NE2

              I-495/95 around DC added new lanes as did I-695 around Baltimore. They took the median where one existed (the median in urban areas often is just a jersey barrier with associated shoulders in both directions of traffic) and did widening elsewhere. If a wide median is available, they'll take that first before they take property outside of the existing right-of-way, assuming a right of way was not purchased long ago in anticipation of future widening. That's common in rural areas. Not so much in urban and suburban areas.

              Interstate hghway standards aren't a law although it's true that if you have an otherwise limited access highway that isn't an interstate that you want to be signed as one, it has to be upgraded to those standards.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

              by terrypinder on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:53:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exceptions to Interstate standards (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrypinder

                are very common (I-5 Skagit River, ahem). Even new construction can get waivers.

                The 23 CFR 625 provides that exceptions may be given on a project basis to designs which do not conform to the minimum criteria as set forth in the standards, policies, and standard specifications for: experimental features on projects and projects where conditions warrant that exceptions be made.

                    (1) Some project conditions that may warrant exceptions could be the extreme difficulty or high cost of obtaining right-of-way, cost of construction, mitigation of environmental impacts, or the preservation of historic or scenic values of the location. The careful application of the flexibility provided in the design standards and policies, appropriate use of design exceptions, and coordination with transportation enhancement activities can result in projects that provide safe and efficient transportation facilities and are sensitive and responsive to scenic and historic resources.

                    (2) Although all exceptions from accepted standards and policies should be justified and documented in some manner, the FHWA has established 13 controlling criteria requiring formal approval. These criteria are design speed, lane and shoulder width, bridge width, structural capacity, horizontal and vertical alignment, grade, stopping sight distance, cross slope, superelevation, and vertical and horizontal clearance (other than the "clear zone"). Design exceptions to these controlling criteria can, in the most part, be easily identified and defined. However, two items, horizontal clearance and design speed, warrant some further explanation and discussion.

                        (a) Horizontal Clearance: A recovery area clear of unyielding objects should be established for all projects. Criteria from the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide should be treated as guidance for setting individual project or statewide criteria or policies, not as a national standard requiring a design exception if not met.

                        (b) Design Speed: Design speed is a concept by which coordination of the various physical design elements is achieved. Design speed has a significant effect on the operation and safety of a highway because it is used to determine various individual design elements with specific dimensions such as stopping sight distance or horizontal curvature. Therefore, a "design speed exception" is necessarily an exception to individual physical design elements and accordingly must be justified on that basis.

                    (3) In a number of instances, a range of specific values of minimum, maximum, and desirable are contained in the AASHTO policies and guides. It is FHWA policy that the lowest or highest value of the range, whichever is appropriate, is to be considered as the minimum or maximum acceptable for design of NHS projects.

                    (4) For preventive maintenance projects, no exceptions are needed for the retention of existing substandard features. In effect, the State is maintaining the project as built, and as it was agreed upon in the project agreement. However, any new substandard features created, or existing ones made worse, must be covered by an exception since such actions in effect change the project as built.

                http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/...

                warning: snark above

                by NE2 on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:30:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Once again... (0+ / 0-)

                Please show me on the satellite view where along the Hyperloop route your supposed exceptions are.  Because I've been sampling along the whole route and haven't found any.  If they exist, they are NOT a significant portion of the route, unless the satellites are lying.

                Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 02:47:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ask Elfling, who drives it often. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BruceMcF

                  man, you're being unpleasant.

                  Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

                  by terrypinder on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 03:44:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Why are you sampling along the entire route? (0+ / 0-)

                  The issue for your argument is that to establish that placing the LA station at Sylmar is simply an oversight that is trivial to extend to LA Union Station.

                  Unless the extension is trivial, I'm justified in critiquing the proposal to use the negative impact of the Sylmar placing on transport demand as on the basis of what's on the side of the tin, and you are not justified in defending the Sylmar station placement by hand waving about how it could just as easily be well placed.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 03:29:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  We proposed a HSR from Chicago (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rei, geomoo

      to Detroit using the median of I-94. It would have went through if there was a Democratic governor in Michigan.

      HSR is a misnomer. I'm constantly corrected by those at a higher authority than I that it is called "enhanced rail."

      Which does make me a fan of the Hyperloop. I don't want Enhanced Rail, I want a fireball of speed rail.

  •  I was wondering when you would weigh in (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, BruceMcF, spacecadet1, geomoo, PeterHug

    I very soon came to the conclusion that it was vaporware to test investors.

    And the guy does own a car company after all.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 06:45:49 PM PDT

      •  It got coverage because ... (8+ / 0-)

        ... Musk is rich, so he must know what he is doing.

        The fact that professionals spend years getting up to speed on these kinds of issues can be set aside because ... he's a STAR!!! He made a bundle on an internet start-up, therefore he must know what he's talking about!

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:00:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  While I agree that basic HSR is probably a better (8+ / 0-)

          choice for California, I think your comment here is quite unfair to Musk.

          If nothing else, he has proved with the multiple launches and the recent tail landing hop at Space X not to even mention Tesla Motors the he is more than the average internet startup jackpot winner.

          I guess he could be like Larry Ellison and throw away billions building a faster racing yacht.....overall, I think Elon Musk has more than proven himself....whether or not this is his best idea.....

          And in many areas, I can see a hyperloop type system being much more likely....California?  not so much in my experience....They're lucky the state functions at all considering.

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:19:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If he put the attention to detail into SpaceX ... (5+ / 0-)

            ... that he put into this proposal, it would have blown up at launch.

            Indeed, for SpaceX he both hired and paid attention to competent professionals. If he had done so with this proposal, it wouldn't be getting "train" energy consumption figures for Amtrak diesel passenger train on freight track and pretending that it represents HSR energy consumption.

            In my mind, the fact that he can be competent when he tries makes this load of bullshit worse, not better.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:33:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Falcon 1 Launch 1 (0+ / 0-)

              30 seconds, close.

            •  Face it: SpaceX is the world's most expensive (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              geomoo

              roller coaster ride.   -- on top of being 50 year old technology.  It's chief virtue is that it is "privately financed/for profit " -- ie:  We don't NEED no socialistical NASA programs to go to Space. "

              And the dear old Tesla ... when the next generation of energy storage technology arrives ... and when "someone" deploys a charging system network for it: THEN  it will have all the utility and appeal of the Delorean and the Bugatti Veyron -- and someone will be making an all-electric equivalent to the Focus.

              So Elon Musk is a "huckster" in the very best sense of the word.  He makes a good living selling dreams and fantasies -- and in the process , perhaps, inspires others think twice about the project, and then to buckle down to the task of producing "something like" the shiny dream toy.

              It's not like Nicholas Tesla didn't have a portfolio of mad-scientist ideas that  are STILL  somewhere between "utterly impractical" to "totally impossible."  Death rays and earthquake generators, anyone.?

              •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                buddabelly, aseth

                Because spending two orders of magnitude less than NASA on a rocket, and succeeding where they failed, and not only succeeding but ending up cheaper than even the Russians and Chinese, is such a nothing feat.  Same with starting a company that mass produces electric cars, which was founded when oil was cheap with a promise to make them over twice as fast and twice as long range as before, and ending up today with over 20,000 produced which have received some of the highest ranked car reviews ever given.  Pish, trivial!

                And at each stage, there were people like you and the diarist writing about what a load of bull his concepts were and what an idiot he was for proposing them, and how the critics all know so much better as to fall for such a dumb proposal.

                Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:03:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is, however, ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... clearly not the same line of business as planning a transport system.

                  Taking on faith that this proposal is sound because those ventures in other areas succeeded is argument Ad Hominem ... playing the man rather than the ball.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:18:59 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, it's known as a track record. (0+ / 0-)

                    And was SpaceX the same line of business as PayPal?  Was Tesla the same line of business as SpaceX?

                    What I'm saying: drop the Musk attacks and focus on the proposal.  Pointing out Musk only increases the proposal's credibility, not decreasing it like you seem to think.

                    Oh, and FYI, talking about engineers, as we were earlier?

                    The plans Musk unveiled were developed by a team of a dozen engineers from both Tesla and SpaceX. They spent roughly nine months developing them, though Musk started thinking about a Hyperloop concept about two years ago.
                    To put it plainly: Hyperloop was designed by rocket scientists   ;)

                    Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                    by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:10:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What Musk attacks? (0+ / 0-)

                      You tell me to do what I do not do. How can I stop doing what I didn't start? You start your "counter-attack" diary imputing to me an attack that I had read somebody else making.

                      And as you say:

                      To put it plainly: Hyperloop was designed by rocket scientists
                      If it was designed by nothing but rocket scientists, that would account for both main failings I critique in this diary. It wouldn't, however, account for the lying about the energy consumption of HSR, overstating their energy consumption by a factor of four to five.

                      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                      by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:05:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  As Musk says (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buddabelly

            "My money is the first in, and the last one out".  He puts his money where his mouth is.

            When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

            by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:38:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yea (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cat4everrr, Rei, buddabelly, aseth

            I quite agree with you.  

            Simply attacking Mush like this doesn't accomplish much given what Tesla and SpaceX have achieved.

            •  I don't attack bloggers ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              ... no matter how rich or famous they may be ...

              ... I'm attacking this proposal that he wrote. Not because I don't like him, but because it presents a cost comparison that is full of holes.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:26:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, no, you're not attacking Musk. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AdamR510

                Certainly not.  Why, when you wrote:

                so when I first encountered the notion floated that this is just a car builder (well, an electric car builder) attacking a rival form of transport, I thought that might involve some shaky inference regarding motive for otherwise puzzling statements ...

                ... but then I read the first paragraph of the blog post where he introduced the proposal, and there really isn't any doubt:

                You CERTAINLY weren't alleging that this was not a tech proposal, but rather a malicious attempt to sell more cars!  And when you kept bringing up PayPal trying to present him as unqualified on tech concepts, never mind that he hasn't worked for PayPal in over a decade and instead has been founding and running two of the most revolutionary, high-tech companies in the US... no, you certainly weren't attacking HIM!

                Because it's all about the proposal, right?

                Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

                by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:08:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, anybody who can read can tell ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  terrypinder

                  ... that I was not alleging that this was a malicious attempt to sell more cars, but rather that I had read suggestions that this was a malicious attempt to sell more cars.

                  In what world is "when I first encountered the notion" referring to an idea in my head, rather than something someone else said that I came across?

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:22:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  It's not like Tesla delivered on its promises (0+ / 0-)

            People laid down something like $50,000 prepaid to get on the list (I'm getting that number from memory).  They were promised delivery date after delivery date.  Many gave up.  The history of Tesla is not exactly proof that Musk does his homework and gets it right the first time and on time.

            Still, I will acknowledge that there may be something to your point.  I also have to admit that I had a great notion of who this guy is until I heard him talk; after that, I have no problem with the criticisms I am seeing in these comment threads.  Seems like a high bs quotient to me.  Exciting dreams which ignore finite resources are a huge turn off to me.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:43:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  the papers are primed to troll HSR (7+ / 0-)

        they've been trying to kill this thing from the get-go, fed talking points by the various NIMBY lawsuits and gas/oil-funded think tank "reports."

  •  A bad solution in search of an unnecessary problem (8+ / 0-)

    is what I think.

    You don't need to go to San Francisco to LA in half an hour. That isn't necessary. That's problem that does not need to be created, and therefore doesn't require a solution.

    Just good old fashioned HSR will work just fine, thank you very much.

    •  If you needed to ... (8+ / 0-)

      ... Sylmar at the northern edge of the LA urban area to Hayward at the southern edge of the SF/Oakland urban area wouldn't cut it.

      Ignoring the time needed to get to the stations on each side reinforces that he's well buffered by his wealth from the reality of air travel in the US for regular folks, where its getting to the origin airport, the wait at the origin airport, and from the destination airport that is so often the pain ...

      ... for those who cannot afford a driver at each end and a private jet in between.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except, of course, (0+ / 0-)

        ... that if people felt that was a problem (people do, after all, go to the outskirts for airports all the time, and this was presented as a cross between rail and air travel), there's a straight rail line straight from Sylmar to downtown LA which hyperloop could be built over.

        So....?

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:10:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that straight rail line from Sylmar to ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... downtown LA could be built over, then the California HSR would still be planning to go over that rail line on a viaduct.

          The HSR has the option of investing in upgrading the rail corridor and interoperating trains into LA Union Station ... (which should have been its design all along, just as the TGV system does to run into downtown Paris ... on rare occasion the meat grinder tosses out an inferior decision in favor of a superior one) ...

          ... and the Hyperloop does not have that option.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:10:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't need fast. Just walk from San Fran to LA! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agent, Cat4everrr, Yoshimi

      Sidewalks are a proven technology... if you have the time.

      •  But HSR is ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... tested 1980's-2000's technology that can get you from the Bay to the LA Basin quickly enough to make it a day trip. And a sidewalk isn't.

        Depending on where you need to go, if the California HSR isn't fast enough, the Hyperloop may not be fast enough, since it doesn't cut through LA county at high speeds with multiple stations, some of them located in areas where you really can use a sidewalk to get to a substantial range of destinations.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:28:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A day trip? (0+ / 0-)

          Compared to an hour by air? If HSR wants to succeed, it needs to compete with air for short distance trips.

          •  Already, from my location (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF

            Amtrak is almost as fast for me as air travel, doorstep to doorstep, because Amtrak California has stops right at my end points, and airports involve a substantial wait/loading time plus  about two hours of leaving the airport + bus connections on each end to get me to the same places.

            It will vary somewhat depending upon exactly where you need to go.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:27:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If it wasn't for the security checkpoints (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi

            air travel would be unbeatable. But when you factor in the time wasted at the various checkpoints and the boarding/unloading, there is not much difference.

            •  They also take a lot of area (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BruceMcF

              Even without the security time, the travel time from the airport... to anywhere you actually want to be is usually on order a half hour. The exceptions to that are old-style close in airports like Burbank and Love Field and all those other airports that have insufficient capacity for more than short haul commuter use.

              HSR can stop right next to a high rise, no problem.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:44:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  As elfling says ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... if people all lived next to the airport and were all heading to an airport hotel on the other side, air travel would be unbeatable.

            Given the additional transport time on both sides to complete the trip door to door, its beatable. That's a big reason why two hour train trips dominate air travel, and two to three hour train trips are competitive with air travel. Train trips beyond three hours drop down toward niche market status, under present energy price conditions.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:15:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  but if you suddenly COULD... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rei, aseth

      people would find ways to structure their lives to take advantage of it.

      and pretty soon, it would become necessary.

      that's more or less the story of transportation innovation.

      •  But it doesn't work if the endpoints (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, gooderservice

        aren't where you need them to be.

        It's doorstep to doorstep time that matters, and further, if you have the advantage of staying with a single mode of transport, you can (a) more easily deal with any cargo traveling with you and (b) make better use of your time.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You need to be competitive with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yoshimi

      Air travel.

    •  The horse and carraige works just fine. (0+ / 0-)

      I'd love to be able to go from Boston to DC in an hour.

      My kids would get to visit their grandparents more than once a year.

  •  All the cities in between LA and SF (5+ / 0-)

    are going to say "yeah..fuck up my town with years of construction for a train I can't even ride. I'll go along with that!"

    No way.

    •  I think the route he chose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pat208, aseth

      specifically avoids that by... not going through any cities. Which is another major drawback of this system.

      Fresno really needs a strong transport system to LA/SF. One of the really underrated and wonderful elements of the HSR route is how many university towns are connected on the route. It will be a boon to students and also to others wanting to take advantage of programs at the various schools.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:13:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fresno gets a Phase 2 station! (0+ / 0-)

        Though since its point to point, there really is no reason to expect all of the branches to be done in a single second phase. It could really be Phase 6.

        And Bakersfield would get to ride the actually once every three hours at best San Joaquin to Fresno to catch a half hour trip to the northern edge of LA!

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:32:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Woo. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BruceMcF

          I would recommend to Mr. Musk that he take the San Joaquins round trip to LA/San Diego some time. I think he'd learn a lot about state transportation from it.

          I am astounded by how many people I meet who use it to commute to their jobs in San Francisco from Fresno, or Madera, or Stockton.

          People don't use it to commute from the central valley to LA - and my guess that's because the bus leg is such a PITA. Getting rid of that bus leg is going to be huge for the viability of train travel in California, regardless of speed.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:08:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Quite ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling

            ... a lot of people do not understand that a system that was just downtown LA to downtown SF is a hobbled system compared to the California HSR, since it offers transport into downtown LA and downtown SF from a number of origin stations ... in a mix of densely congested downtowns and car accessible suburban locations.

            And too many people fail to understand how much smaller the stopping penalty if for a train versus a plane, while an express bullet train can avoid even that time penalty for stopping at a secondary station by not stopping.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:48:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Does it also avoid the fault line? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF
        •  AFAIK, you can't avoid the San Andreas ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... going north from the LA Basin to the Bay ~ you either cross it going north to the CV, or take the coastal route and cross it north of Salinas.

          How a pod going 700mph in a partial vacuum steel tube reacts to being shaken is something I'd like to see the research on ... the claim is that its perfectly safe, but others claims that the people inside would be paste and a big section of tube would be ripped out and land on the ground.

          So the basis for the "perfectly safe" claims would be interesting to see. Of course, the proposal has no citations.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:28:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hyperloop reminds me of the "Springfield Monorail" (8+ / 0-)

  •  Another thought ot two... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, Simplify, Yoshimi, geomoo

    ...first, how desirable is a long line of large twin pipes, on eelevating pylons,  in the fair state of California? Probably not very.

    And were this thing built, and then went bust, what then? I'd almost think that TransCanada would buy it up for scrap value, and turn it into the Keystone 4XL pipeline!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:50:32 PM PDT

  •  You cannot imagine how many down rates (13+ / 0-)

    I have got in the past week on tech blogs for pointing out the various obvious problems with Musk's Hyper-Thingy. Thou shall not criticize The Elon.

    This proposal solves three problems:

    1. Get Musk more publicity. Tide the wave, Dude.

    2. Gets Musk home from his office in Fremont to the arms of Mrs. Musk in Brentwood in less than an hour.

    3. Gets the little people to fund it.

    What it doesn't do is provide the type of high speed rail the US needs, California in particular.

    Isolated point to point systems are a fundamentally bad idea in most cases, unless you want to circle an amusement park.

    Thanks for pointing out the political aspects, I was curious if you would diary this.

    Sorry I can't rec this, the code is not loading right now.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 07:59:32 PM PDT

  •  I'm still interested in the technology (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, BruceMcF, Judeling

    I think it may have potential.  Just not as a HSR replacement for SF-LA.

    I suspect it fulfills a goal of a billionaire like Musk: how to get from one place to the other quickly and still have your car with you.  Doesn't have enough capacity?  Doesn't matter--HE'll be able to afford to take it.

    •  I didn't mention the bringing your car along ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      ... alternative, to avoid the necessity of talking about how incremental unit costs for that version seem highly implausible. But click through to Alon Levy's post, he discusses that as well.

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      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:33:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Frankly I think the "bring car along" option (0+ / 0-)

        is kinda stupid, but the idea of having a larger tube with more people capacity could both provide more comfortable seating and increase the overall carrying capacity of the system without having to increase the number of tubes as much.  A thicker tube could also be more resistant to terrorist or other types of damage.  I could also see the individual compartments being longer and/or possibly double decker to fit more people in.

        Though the idea certainly has problems I think it's worth at least studying somewhat, if not specifically for California but possibly for other high traffic routes elsewhere.

        Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

        by sleipner on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:20:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But then the tunneling costs ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... really start to go up. The small cross-section is what the proposal appeals to for its very low per mile tunneling costs. Increase the cross section, those costs go up. And he doesn't reach the LA Basin from the Central Valley without tunneling.

          The claim that Elon Musk makes is not whether this is worthy of further study. The claim he is that it would be cheaper and more effective than the California HSR system. In the argument he presents, the costs do not add up and he does not display any understanding of what elements of an HSR system are responsible for their successes around the world.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:40:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's fine for Musk to propose this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW

      The problem would be if anyone with significant influence over the high-speed rail project entertains the hyperloop as a credible alternative, and I don't see anyone doing that as yet.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:33:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So he's not to be criticized for ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... explicitly attempting to replace the California HSR project with a not-even-trialed technology that won't actually replace the majority of the transport task served by the California HSR system ... unless he succeeds?

        Or is there a threshold of progress made toward the goal of derailing the California project that permits critique of the plan to replace an already funded project with what is, at this moment, vaporware?

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:25:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My question is: Why did EM unveil HL now? (8+ / 0-)

    There is still a lot of right-wing hostility toward CA-HSR.

    While registering voters at the county fair last week, I personally had to fend off a TeaPuppet demanding to know "why Democrats were building that damned 'train to nowhere' out in the Valley".

    Call me suspicious, but is there anything suspicious about EM's timing?

    Yes. But it's not about the L.A. to S.F. HSR route. Five days after the HL concept was made public, the U.S. Department of Transportation denied a request for a $5 billion loan to build an HSR line from L.A. to Las Vegas.

    The project, known as XpressWest, was the brainchild of a Vegas kingpin and blessed by Senator Harry Reid. Phase 1 would have required tourists to drive to Victorville, 100 miles east of L.A., and there board the 150mph train for a 80 minute trip to the Emerald City.

    In his decision to shelve the loan request, Secretary Ray LaHood cited the lack of American-made rail cars. Canadian firm Bombardier has provided rail cars to the U.S. since 1976. But in this case, the usual waivers to the "Buy American" act were denied.

    Was the HyperLoop roll-out timed to thwart the XpressWest project? The technology is untried, but Elon Musk's reputation is formidable.

    When I first read about Hyperloop, my first thought was, "Why not do this between L.A. and Vegas first?" The 180 miles between Victorville and LV is a manageable distance across empty desert... perfect for a test-bed project. The trip would be a 15 minute thrill-ride for passengers with cash to burn, on their way to what is essentially a big amusement park. Instead of driving another four hours through the desert, the party could start right there on the train.

    Does Musk actually want to build the Las Vegas HL route? Or is he doing a favor for those who do?

    I am right?

    Or have I watched too many episodes of "House of Cards"?

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 08:45:53 PM PDT

    •  Interesting comment ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, HeyMikey, spacecadet1, Cat4everrr

      ... my second remark about Hyperloop was actually a tweet:

      At the time I hadn't seen the branch layout route map.

      But, yes, you could run a hyperloop from somewhere in Riverside to Vegas and if it follows the same rail corridor alignment as the proposed electric Rapid Rail route, it wouldn't have nearly so many bends to create the barf train effect.

      And the Las Vegas anchor could be the Riverside HSR station.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:13:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF

      The Las Vegas route would be much better suited to a point to point... and it could connect to the HSR system. And it would so fit Vegas as a theme park.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:16:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Minor correction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, geomoo

    Tehachapi is the eastern alternative. Tejon Pass (probably better known as the Grapevine, the name of the long grade just to the north) is west of Tehachapi. Tejon has never had a railroad.

    warning: snark above

    by NE2 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 09:34:30 PM PDT

  •  For a guy who is supposed to be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF, JeffW, terrypinder, geomoo

    a brilliant engineer AND a brilliant business man, this was a major disappointment.

    He invited comparisons between the current HSR, an actual supported plan on well proven technology vs. the hype-loop.  To paraphrase you, he simply doesn't address the same problem that the HSR is on the way to solving.

    I've heard the LA Union Station redesign is supposed to cost about $2 billion of the $68 billion.  Part of the redesign of course relates to how that station will be the link to eventual HSR service to San Diego and Las Vegas as well as the overall transportation network.

    And it is curious how hard it is to sort out exactly where the SF side terminal is going to be - it appears to be located in Ashland according to the pg. 51 map. It appears to be a bit north of there based on the pg. 49 map.  I can understand that if he wants to save a few dozen billions he might want to park the terminal at Ashland.  But instead of documenting it clearly, he just ignores a couple major costs:  SF Bay area real estate and managing cross Bay traffic corridors.

    So I thought that the stuff relating to understanding the route costs was SO wildly misplaced, that he should have just stuck to doing an honest discussion of some technical engineering issues for this kind of transport.

    I would have loved just an engineering feasibility study from someone that had a handle on physical constraints and nailed down some technical issues better.  Safety was the glaring issue for me in this department.  I couldn't imagine hundreds of miles of tube staying safe given load assumptions of the document.  But it would have been nice to see a discussion.

    On a tangent...

    I don't know much about existing maglev installations but wouldn't the hype-loop have been more comparable to maglev given the need for all new track?  Also, are you familiar with anyone who did any workups of maglev for the LA to SF route?  I'm just asking to try to get a handle on the costs and issues.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:15:04 PM PDT

    •  The CHSRA did a study of Maglev for the ... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, JeffW, HeyMikey, patbahn, elfling

      ... LA/SF route. It would have had higher speed, but the costs of taking it to downtown LA and downtown SF would have been high ... getting it into the Transbay Transit Center would have been quite problematic, since the steel wheel HSR shares the rail tunnel with the Caltrain.

      The decision to go with Steel Wheel / Steel Rail was made before the Federal HSR funds were granted, but if California had settled on maglev, they wouldn't have been eligible for the funds, since the fallback option to run the Amtrak California San Joaquin route on the Central Valley part of the HSR corridor would not have been available, and there is an anti-white-elephant requirement when funding a part of a project that the part that is funded has to have independent utility.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 10:23:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  steel wheel HSR at 120 MPH LA-SF isn't bad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        spacecadet1

        and if they can slowly up the speed.

        just being 2X faster then a car isn't bad,

        •  Even a car doesn't go ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          patbahn, elfling

          ... as the crow flies: a speedometer speed of 60mph or 70mph when you hit the freeway doesn't mean a line-of-site speed from downtown LA to downtown SF of 60mph to 70mph. You could be spending a good part of that trip crawling along at 5mph if you hit traffic, which the HSR train does not have to stop for, because its fully grade separated.

          And remember, the Hyperloop would require driving from downtown LA to Sylmar first, which depending on traffic could well take hours.

          The top "speedometer" speed of the HSR is 220mph, and effective transit speed of 130mph direct into a congested downtown area, while being able to stream a movie or twitter or facebook or (heaven forfend) blog on dkos is something that you really shouldn't try on a long drive, and if you are flying which is constantly interrupted by the need to get to the airport, the counter, the gate, then sit down and have some time to do something while waiting to board, then the boarding call starts, then you are in the plane, and for an in-state trip are quite quickly back on the ground and making your way to the car rental desk or ground transport.

          Hyperloop seems to be replicating that stitching a trip together between extended inconvenient bits on both ends and a short hop in the middle, which is no better than flying, and falls far short of the ability to spend most of the trip wrapped up in a good book or movie.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:21:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you could improve Hyperloop (0+ / 0-)

            if you had switches so that at the terminals you had multiple tubes  so you could pull the cars in in parallel and have more of them, and besides to make this work you would need 3 tubes and cross over switches,

            but, when you put in a lot of robustness and all that,
            i suspect it's not as cheap.

            If you had robots you could build big tubes and pylons in factories, but, civil engineering tends to be messy and complex.

            i like the boldness of the hyperloop, but i'd like to see it be made work from say SFO to Downtown,  then we will see.

  •  I was a fan of this project until hearing about... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agent, BruceMcF

     The discomfort involved. I was hoping it would be akin to flying through the air. It doesn't feel like you're traveling at a ground speed of 400 miles an hour in a jet plane, but you are...

     Still, I'd love the R&D to continue on it, maybe some of the engineers involved can build something at Disney World, you know a tube where someone can go from Tomorrowland to EPCOT in 20 secs. Make it work there, then extrapolate to see if it can enhance transport options in CA.

     One last point, I don't know if I'm alone here, but why doesn't the tube go south from San Jose instead? Land assembly will be a lot less than going farther north and into Oakland, and after Caltrain gets electrified and BART gets extended all of the Bay Area can easily get to Diridion Station. It might even make San Jose Airport unnecessary and open up 2 sq miles (minimum) for needed Housing.

    •  The discomfort factor... truth or propaganda? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey, Cat4everrr, Yoshimi

      You are experiencing 1 G downward force right now. Do you feel queasy inside?

      A roller coaster violently CHANGES your acceleration from 0 to -0.7 G to +0.7 G.

      It is the RATE OF CHANGE in the G force that makes you feel sick, not the G force itself!

      Funny how defensive some people are over the limitations of High Speed Rail. So defensive, in fact that they have to mislead people in serious ways.

      •  How much experience do you have pulling G's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF, gooderservice

        I suspect that -0.7 would be noticeably uncomfortable for the average rider regardless of onset rate.

        Especially in a sealed tube with no external visual references.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:39:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, It's Not (0+ / 0-)

        If you are experiencing a 1g forward acceleration, it's like having somebody your own size sitting on your chest for as long as that acceleration lasts.
        Or, if you want to consider vertical acceleration, an additional 1g vertically is like having someone your own weight sitting on your shoulders.

        I read Musk's pdf and made some reality-based comments in an earlier diary:

        ... Figures 26 [in the pdf] is hard for me to believe.  In Figure 26, the vehicle has reached 300 mph in maybe 20 seconds (the scale is hard to work with) after departing Los Angeles.  This works out to +0.68g.  That's an 11-second quarter mile, NHRA fans. The other two accelerations are easier at about +0.57g and +0.48g. The decelerations are similar; -0.48g, -0.57g, and -0.68g. The seats will need to be semi-reclining, have four-point harnesses, and should swivel 180 degrees for deceleration. Beverage service will be discontinued during these episodes.

        This kind of concept has long appeared in speculative articles in Popular Science magazine (I'll bet this one does too), followed twenty, thirty, or forty years later by another article saying, "My, my, weren't we naive back then?"

        ....

        And just to wrap things up, if an aircraft touched down at 120 kts and could apply a 1g average deceleration, it would stop in 636 feet. If it could accelerate at an average of 1g, it would take 6.2 seconds to reach a rotation speed of 120 kts [in reply to a comment about "experiencing" 1g on a commercial aircraft.]

        Needless to say, the Musk devotees would not have it.

        "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

        by midnight lurker on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:29:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You aren't thinking straight (pun intended). (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          Imagine you are sitting in a reposed position.

          Being pulled forward is what happens when I'm in a plane that is taking off. That's not going to make me queasy.

          Moving up and down (vertical forces) while reclined is not like standing up and having a man standing on your shoulders.

          Try this. Lie down. Now ask your wife to put a dog on you that weighs half as much as you do. That is 0.5 G.

          Does that make you feel seasick? No.

          But the weight of a dog is actually worse than 0.5 G, because it is not evenly distributed over your body where it can go directly into a contoured, reclined, bed.

          Getting seasick is a result of the change of forces you feel.
          f= m*a, so the force you feel is proportional to acceleration.

          But it is the changes in forces, the changes in acceleration that can make you seasick.

          •  Now be thrown to the left at 0.5g. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice

            Now be thrown to the right at 0.5g.

            Because the coasting segment is coasting at speed, there is very little front-to-back acceleration. Most of the 0.5g acceleration envelope is used for side to side movements, to track the Interstate 5 alignment, which feels a lot more wiggly at 700mph than it is at 70mph.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:11:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I Was Not Talking About "Seasickness" (Nausea) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF, gooderservice

            I was talking about what you feel when subjected to acceleration. If the capsule accelerates to 300 mph in 20 seconds, that's an average acceleration of +0.68g. If you are sitting in an ordinary position and weigh 150 lbs., it feels as if 102 lbs. is pushing you back into the seat. At the other end, the deceleration feels as it 102 lbs. is pulling you out of the seat, or you are being pushed into the belt(s) by 102 lbs. of force. That can be uncomfortable.

            That's why you would need more than a passenger aircraft lap belt. Ideally, the seats should be semi-reclining and pivot 180 degrees for deceleration.

            All this would happen six times during the trip. Then we add going around the curves, which would be like riding the old bobsled/toboggan ride at Coney Island which ran in a greased wooden chute.

            Wheeee!

            "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

            by midnight lurker on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:49:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was specifically talking about ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... seasickness, since according to the claims of the proposal, the side to side accelerations are just included in as acceleration and the net acceleration limited to 0.5g.

              Jack M there refuses to even recognize the point that Alon Levy makes here:

              0.5 g, or 4.9 m/s^2, is extreme. Non-tilting trains do not accelerate laterally at more than 1.2 m/s^2 in the plane of the track (i.e. after accounting for cant), and at high speed they have lower lateral acceleration, about 0.67 m/s^2 with limiting cases of about 0.8 for some tilting trains relative to the plane of the train floor. For example, the Tokaido Shinkansen has 200 mm of cant and maximum speed of 255 km/h on non-tilting trains on 2,500-meter curves, for 100 mm of cant deficiency, or 0.67 m/s^2.
              ... and this is after he quotes the proposed standard verbatim from the proposal itself.

              This is allowed lateral acceleration that is seven times the norm and six times the maximum experienced on existing HSR services.

              It doesn't matter how many examples of dogs sitting on chests you go for, allowing lateral accelerations of up to 4.9m/s^2 is going to induce motion sickness in some members of the traveling public.

              Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:13:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ever driven in a car? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cat4everrr

              Ever taken off fast from a toll booth.
              Pure fun. No pain.

              Occasionally -- and I don't plan on going into details -- I find my wife on top of me in bed. I never complain about it though.

              So much for 102 pounds of force pushing me back into my seat.

              WHY ARE THE HSR PEOPLE SO DESPERATE TO MAKE UP THIS SHIT?

              •  Ever been a passenger in a car ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                ... with repeated 0.5g lateral acceleration?

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                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:43:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  The Ferrari 458 ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BruceMcF

                does the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds. That equates to an average acceleration of +0.69g, which is in the same ballpark for average acceleration as the Musk capsule. However, to accomplish that, it has a peak acceleration of 0.96g. I am not making this up.

                I think we can assume your vehicle doesn't come anywhere close to that when you "take off fast from a toll booth." Additionally, there is a big difference between "Whoo-hoo, watch me" and being sealed into a capsule with no control over your environment. This thing is supposed to be public transportation, after all.

                "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

                by midnight lurker on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:16:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  For the left-right horizontal acceleration ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... that's the point ... net positive and negative accelerations of up to 0.5g.

        There is no discrimination in the proposal between being pressed back into your seat and being shifted from side to side. But in real life, real life high speed vehicles have to respect the difference between the two.

        And, no, you cannot go 700mph tracking the Interstate 5 alignment without land acquisition without experiencing that being tossed from side to side. The system is cambered, but its cambered to remain within that envelope.

        The kind of nearly straight line and very gentle curves with multiple kilometer turn radius that would bring left-right accelerations down to acceptable levels that you could achieve on a Hyperloop from Victorville to Vegas cannot be achieved between LA and SF without substantial land acquisition in the Central Valley.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:39:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read what I wrote above again! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          IT IS CHANGES IN ACCELERATION THAT CAUSE PEOPLE TO FEEL QUEASY INSIDE.

          No one gets sick from a constant acceleration, meaning constant force, like that when a jet is attaining its altitude.

          •  Regarding acquisition (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cat4everrr, aseth

            There is one HELL of a difference between "Hello Mr. Farmer, I'd like to acquire a right of way that will not stop you from moving your equipment" and "Hello Mr. Farmer, I'd like to acquire a right of way and there will be a ten foot tall barbed wire fence on either side to make sure your cows don't decide to take a snooze in the way of our train."

            •  How does that argument convert the cost ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              ... to free? That's what defense of the quality of his cost estimates requires.

              The cost is included in the project he is comparing to. It is yet another omitted cost from his proposal. So his cost comparison is apples and oranges, comparing a better than best case cost estimate to an actual funded project presently going ahead.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:18:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So? (0+ / 0-)

            Constant lateral acceleration would be going around a loop. The lateral accelerations will be both to the left and to the right, with the proposed maximum allowed 0.5g, which is six to seven time the lateral acceleration allowed in practice in intercity HSR around the world.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:15:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  As far as East Bay versus the Silicon Valley ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... I don't know. The multiple different end-point for the system depending on which map you look at suggests they didn't think about it very hard.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:42:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Commentary reveals WEAKNESS of High Speed Rail (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agent, AdamR510, Judeling, Cat4everrr, Yoshimi

    I have never heard such an immature, defensive set of rationalizations as in this commentary. Every word is designed to be insulting ("roller coaster") rather than informative.

    High Speed Rail in California does use "proven" technology. So proven that much of it is lifted from the technology of the 1800's. Doesn't America deserve a better technology?

    Before I say another word, let me say that Hyperloop is not yet developed, and is certainly not ready for deployment! But Hyperloop is where we should be investing our research dollars. Because the payoff just leaves High Speed Rail in the dust!

    What do you want in a transportation system? Three qualities are most important:

    1. End to end transit times for the passengers.
    2. No waiting to embark.
    3. Passenger capacity.

    Hyperloop does well on the first two and has sufficient passenger capacity to carry the entire annual San Francisco to LA including that currently done by rail, car and air.

    Hyperloop is designed to provide airliner like 800 MPH average speed, end to end. This is a distinct advantage over rail.

    Hyperloop also uses passenger capsules with fewer than 30 people each. Which means that capsules will be leaving every minute, rather than every 3 hours like "High Speed" rail. This is a distinct advantage over rail.

    Critics of the Hyperloop have pointed out that Elon Musk uses a rather aggressive 0.5 g vertical acceleration in his calculations. BUT this is not an uncomfortable number so long as one is in a reposed state, and the 2nd derivative of the velocity only changes gradually.

    It is NOT the 0.5 G that makes a roller coaster make you feel uneasy inside! It is the change from 0 G to -0.5 G to +0.5G vertical (and horizontal) acceleration!

    The 0.5 G level is necessary here because we are talking about going at high speed, and tracks can't be perfectly straight. But high speed is ALWAYS the goal in any transportation system.

    Critics of Hyperloop also say that Hyperloop requires unrealistically high precision in the tube in which the capsules are travelling. But there are engineering solutions available to deal with these issues!

    Suppose I criticized High Speed Rail of requiring impossibly high precision in the track bed and their trains would FLY OFF THE TRACK as soon as they hit a bump?

    I know EXACTLY what they would say!

    First, they would point out that it is NOT the road bed that has to be perfectly straight and flat. It is the straightness of the rails that are at issue. Well, it is the straightness of the bearing surfaces on the inside of the tube, not the whole tube that is important in Hyperloop.

    Second, these engineers would point out that they design the train to allow for compliance with a surface that is not perfectly flat. In the same way, Hyperloop can put mechanisms between the air bearing ("ski") and the capsule.

    Third, these engineers would say they built machines to check the track on a continuous basis. In the same way, Hyperloop will have machines that check it's "tracks".

    Every advocate of public transportation has to admit that cars have an inherent advantage. They pick up up at your driveway and deliver you to the driveway of your choice.

    If mass transit is to survive and prosper in this country, then mass transit has to give passengers something they can't get from their cars. And that something is 800 MPH end to end service and capsules leaving the station every minute!

    •  please, stop calling them capsules... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      bring in the luntz's of the transportation industry and call them something that sounds more comforting.

      no way am i stepping foot in a capsule unless you call it something else like fuzzy wuzzy fun machine.

    •  I wondered when the pushback from HSR (6+ / 0-)

      enthusiasts would appear as soon as I read about Hyperloop. Seems I wasn't disappointed.

      HSR in California has thus far been a disappointment. Not even true HSR. The route to SF is less than satisfactory. And they're breaking ground for the system between two towns that least need HSR. Oh, and I'll not see the completed project in my lifetime.

      Now I mention these issues for HSR, but frankly I don't think they would be unique to HSR. Hyperloop I fear would face the same political dismemberment that HSR has. Our Government is incapable of achieving great things these days, unlike the 60's when we were going to the Moon and passing civil rights legislation at the same time.

      That for me is what is so appealing about Musk. He has a bold vision, and he gets things done. It's really disheartening to see people here try to undercut him the same way they'd undercut someone like Mitt Romney. Musk doesn't deserve such treatment.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 07:42:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  our government reflects us. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey

        we're too polarized today. in a way, we're not really a nation anymore.

      •  What do you mean not even true HSR? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pat208

        Since when is 220mph for much of its route not "true" HSR? I've seen the 110mph-125mph class of train classified as "not true HSR", but the California HSR is quite clearly going to be a bullet train class service.

        And the "its starting between just north of Fresno to just north of Bakersfield" is construction staging, and far from being disappointed with that, you should be happy that the CHSRA was not bullied into doing it as the LA State Representatives were pushing them to do it.

        Anyone serious about actually building an intercity HSR system in the US would start building on a corridor where you can hit 220mph, so you can use part of the corridor as a test track for certification, given that it would be the first over 150mph corridor in the country and will require the FRA to write up an appropriate set of regulations.

        The idea that there is something wrong with that is mostly propaganda from those who wanted to divert the California HSR money into an urban commuter rail system for Los Angeles.

        You seem to be experiencing disappointment mostly due to listening to too much anti-California HSR system propaganda, as part of exactly the political meat grinder of competing interests that I described above.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:22:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The anti-Hyperloop hysteria has turned me off... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr, aseth

          from HSR. Which I have always supported before.

          •  What anti-Hyperloop hysteria? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice

            I like the basic concept.

            But the Sunday Train is not a mode advocacy series. Whether the mode being proposes is cool or not, this particular proposal is full of holes.

            And because its so cool, you do not seem willing to listen to anything that might interfere with your enjoying how cool it is to imagine having it.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:35:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To the contrary... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cat4everrr

              I say that this proposal needs a lot of development before it is ready to deploy.

              •  If you are not defending his cost estimates ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice

                ... why are you spending so much time complaining about the diary? The diary is an indictment of the quality of his cost estimates, and pointing out that his proposed system only offers a fraction of the service footprint that the California HSR system will provide.

                A position "the system needs a lot of development before it is ready to deploy, and we really have no idea what the actual cost would be until we do that development" completely undercuts his comparison of the Hyperloop to the California HSR system.

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                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:20:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Your defense of the Hyperloop ... (4+ / 0-)

      ... included nested within it the same fallacy that Elon Musk includes in his proposal, that comfortable acceleration is a one-size-fits-all figure, and that there is no difference between left-right horizontal acceleration and front-back horizontal acceleration.

      But the limits on left-right horizontal acceleration that Elon Musk casually ignores are based on experience, and you cannot subject passengers to five times that level without some of your passengers experiencing severe motion sickness.

      "Don't take this vehicle if you are subject to motion sickness" is not basis for an intercity transportation backbone.

      Your "no wait to go" is silly. At 22 passengers per vehicle, there will be waits at peak times. Even at the absurdly unrealistic 30 second headways, there will be, and headways of 80 seconds to 180 seconds seem more likely.

      And the implicit argument in your conclusion is that the California HSR system cannot given you something that you can't get from your car. Yet the notion that you can get from downtown LA to downtown SF in three hours by car is quite absurd. And if you are spending your time enroute on twitter, or on your computer blogging at dkos or watching a movie, then the motorist is a threat to everyone around them, while the HSR passenger is just another passenger.

      Indeed, the notion that you can drive to downtown LA or SF and find a place to park as easily as you can park at a suburban HSR station is a bit absurd.

      That's why this type of HSR is a proven success in multiple countries serving passengers in places like the regional areas of France where the majority of people drive the majority of places they go.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:34:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  HSR suffers in comparison to cars... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat4everrr

        for the same reason ALL mass transit suffers in comparison to cars. Even Hyperloop.

        The question is how much will HSR give back to the traveller to make up for the inconvenience?

        And HSR just isn't good enough. Too slow. Departure times every 2 or 3 hours instead of every minute.

        Not as energy efficicient as a giant air-hockey puck travelling in a partially evacuated tube!

        As I've mentioned before, it is not the absolute value of acceleration that makes people seasick. It is the CHANGE IN THE ACCELERATION that makes people seasick.

        But I will say this: Hyperloop is not a fully developed system. It is a bunch of insanely great ideas that deserve funding for development!

        •  For a number of trips ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          ... the car is not more convenient. Otherwise people wouldn't fly. And for trips of two hours or less, an HSR is proven to be dominant to flying, while for a trip of two to three hours its proven to be competitive to flying.

          The departures every three hours is just made up, which does indeed hype the significance of a departure every two to three minutes. But there you are talking about a preliminary Fresno to LA system, not about the LA to SF system. Once the system connects LA to SF, it will be hourly or twice hourly express and hourly all-stations trains, higher frequency during peak demand.

          You may have been told by someone that its economically necessary to operate double level, 16 car trains, but if the demand if there for hourly single level, 8 car trains, that's what you run ... passenger demand rewards the hourly or better departure, and more than pays the quite modest additional cost per passenger mile of the additional train driver and conductor, which is why everybody pushes their frequency to that level first, and then looks to increase the capacity of trains beyond a single level, eight car train.

          As far as energy efficiency ~ what calculations do you base that on for the HSR? Did you invent them to reach the conclusion you wanted to reach, as with train frequency, or did you take them from a credible source?

          And since most LA to SF trips are not going to originate in Sylmar and end just south of Oakland, what is the total energy efficiency of the trip, as opposed to the energy efficiency of one step of the trip? We know that the energy efficiencies are close to each other, since the energy efficiency of his electric car is close to the energy efficiency of the Hyperloop (which does, after all, have to accelerate the vehicle up to 700mph), and the energy efficiency of a bullet train is close more efficient than an electric car at normal loadings.

          So how does that energy efficiency comparison work for Fresno to Anaheim? Or LA to San Jose? or Bakersfield to downtown SF?

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:54:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Trains have to wait to fill up. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cat4everrr

            So does Hyperloop. But with 22 passengers per car, that won't be a problem.

            As for energy, I already listed the factors that differentiate Hyperloop from High Speed trains. I don't see anyone disagreeing with that list.

            There is no way that an electric car is in the same ballpark as Hyperloop in terms of energy used.

            Electric cars -- even those made by Elon Musk -- have to overcome rolling friction and air resistance. It depends on the speed at which you are traveling of course, but is there anyone here who doesn't understand that air resistance is a major factor in the energy efficiency of cars?

            •  No, trains run to schedule ... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NE2, elfling, gooderservice

              ... they don't wait to fill up.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:21:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But the schedule is based on having (0+ / 0-)

                a somewhat full train on a regular basis. Airplanes do the same thing to save money.

                •  Less so than airplanes. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elfling, gooderservice

                  The economics of the HSR tilt toward accepting a lower load factor in off-peak demand periods to maintain frequency, because the extra cost of running another train is substantially lower than the extra cost of running another couple of airplanes.

                  With the trains sized for demands at peak intercity travel periods, and with twice the frequency of service at the highest demand stations in peak periods, there's no reason to run at less than an hour per day LA/SF. After you send out the first SF/LA train for the day, you don't wait until the morning LA train arrives before sending down another, you bring in short services from San Jose and Fresno timed so you can turn them around. And keep it running on an hourly clockface until the evening curfew.

                  The three-four hour interval is rather the interval for the extra half hourly Express services, where you send the "extra" morning trains down, they become the "extra" mid-day trains coming the other way and then the "extra" early evening trains going back the other way.

                  Since extra frequencies attract additional demand while extra cars on an already scheduled train only cater to additional demand, what HSR services around the world have done is first built their frequency up to hourly, with some additional services in peak demand periods, and then start expanding train capacity.

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                  by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:31:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Not really (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gooderservice, NE2, BruceMcF, Yoshimi

                  Frequency creates its own demand - for example, if I wanted to fly from LA to SF for a business trip and I cannot travel, have my meeting, and return the same day, I am much less likely to travel at all.

                  People who make transportation systems know this. This is why the airporter bus runs at midnight even though it means running a half empty bus. That half-empty bus helps full the earlier busses on another leg, and gives travelers the assurance that they can still get home even if their plane is late.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:40:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Consider all travelers, not just young and healthy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruceMcF, gooderservice

      Even if I agree with you that the G loads we're discussing would be comfortable and reasonable for an ordinary person in transportation (and remember, for a half hour you'd want to be able to do something else, like read, etc), you should remember that not every traveler is a healthy young adult.

      One of the prime benefits of the HSR system is that it will allow elderly and disabled people, especially people in the central valley, access to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Currently, if you can't drive yourself, there aren't great options to get there now. (Amtrak does a lot of business out of Fresno.)

      Elderly and disabled are taxpayers too, and a transportation system usable for all benefits all of us... especially those of us who otherwise have to drive and assist our elderly relatives.

      And what about infants and small children? Not only do you have the issues of acceleration and motion sickness, but you may need a bathroom, and if the seating is only two abreast, taking and supervising more than one child is rather problematic.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:29:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've got a suggestion... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat4everrr

        Google cars that pick up the elderly at their door.

        But seriously, these ideas merit building a test track and a test car. Then we can have the means of testing what the elderly, or the rest of us, find comfortable.

        I don't want those senior citizens standing around for 3 hours waiting for a "high speed" train to depart.

  •  Politics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ekgrulez1, agent, HeyMikey, Cat4everrr, Yoshimi

    Engineering considerations aside, why is that Europe and Japan have been able to design and build HSR networks many decades ago in physical environments that are much more population dense, with cities much closer together?

    Simple answer:  Their politics is helpful and effective in such matters; ours isn't.

    Labor was the first price paid for all things. It was not by money, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. - Adam Smith

    by boatwright on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:16:07 AM PDT

    •  Actually ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice

      ... California has similar population density to Spain, and Ohio has similar population density to Germany.

      And nobody is seriously proposing HSR from Dallas to Lubbock.

      The politics are, indeed, a serious issue, but added to that is the fact that the US is a top oil producer around the world, providing twice the world average per person. That gives the oil producers greater clout in the US than they have in Europe, which has been in the habit of thinking like an energy importer since the end of WWII.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Hyperloop is an interesting concept (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, patbahn, JLan

    But I think California - and the rest of us - are best served by siting and building a true, current technology HSR system that travels at true HSR speed - 250+ MPH.

    Sure, let's keep Hyperloop "on a burner" but let's build some actual, functional, current tech HSR. Chicago to NYC in 3 hours is probably fast enough for about half of current travelers to ditch the plane and ride the rails on that trip.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:29:33 AM PDT

    •  How about an actual HSR that goes 150 MPH? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr

      How about if the actual HSR only goes 150 MPH top speed and the average speed, including the stops is more like 65 MPH?

      Is this good enough?

    •  220mph is 'true HSR speed' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, spacecadet1, gooderservice

      And the top speed of the California HSR system is 220mph.

      The notion that there is some qualitative upgrade in service quality by adding another 30mph is silly.

      Indeed, California would also be well served by pushing complementary conventional rail passenger services up to 110mph-125mph, which can offer direct cross-platform transfers onto the HSR system.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:12:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afraid 125 mph on regular tracks == derailment (0+ / 0-)

        So that doesn't sound like much of an option.

        •  You can be afraid of that ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, Egalitare, gooderservice

          ... but in the real world it depends on the class of track. Regular class VI track can take 125mph passenger trains. And if 125mph created automatic derailments, then the Acela would derail multiple times a day when it gets out of Connecticut and hits the 150mph segment in Rhode Island.

          How fast you can go on any given track segment depends on the degree of curvature of the turns and the degree of camber built into the tracks.

          And the fact that you have to slow down to 80mph to take a particular turn doesn't mean you have to stay at 80mph once the curve is past.

          Its rather the weight of the locomotive and the need to be able to securely close any grade crossings which are responsible for a 110mph system and a 125mph system being distinct classes. You wouldn't want to run a regular Amtrak train at any higher than 110mph, because of the weight of the locomotives. When Virgin Rail runs 125mph diesels on the conventional mainlines of the UK, they do it with locomotives that are substantially lighter, and place one on each end of the train, in a push-me / pull-me configuration.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:07:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What if a giant rock hits the train! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cat4everrr

            What if power goes out!
            What if a truck drives through the barrier and hits the train!
            What if a cow goes around the barrier!
            What if someone accidently stabs himself in the throat with his pen?

            Get a life. People get on 12 hour plane trips across the ocean without a surgeon on board!

            I've already listed pretty damn good options for emergencies.

            And as far as I know there will be a door in the back to evacuate -- it is a given that Hyperloop has the ability to repressurize the tube -- your imaginary fire.

            •  Now cost them. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gooderservice

              The existence of options for emergencies that the proposal hasn't costed does not defend the cost estimate of the proposal.

              And if you aren't defending the cost estimate of the proposal, then you are just attacking the idea that intercity transport should be available at more than just a handful of stations at the edges of the largest metro areas.

              Because there is nothing in the diary that argues anything about the technical feasibility at some cost, so it would be a massive waste of time to post dozens of comments (based mostly on invented fictions) defending the Hyperloop from an attack that was never made against it in this diary.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:26:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  You're very rude in some of the comments (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Reston history guy

              you're making.

              Get a life.
            •  Bear in mind that if the Hyperloop ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... repressurizes, it means that the entire 700mph transit section is down until it depressurizes, since if it repressurizes with vehicles going at 700mph that's a quick and catastrophic failure.

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              by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:30:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  hyperloop is much like maglev (4+ / 0-)

      worth looking at long term, but, steel wheel
      works Short term.

      The concept drawings are great, but, if a fire breaks out
      in a car?  you need to have fire escapes, you need to have
      water to the pylons, or fire sprinklers,
      you need a maintenance tunnel, you need comms,

      at conceptual everything looks good, as you go along it gets uglier.

  •  His costs are off by several major factors-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling

    the same factors that HSR faces incidentially. other than that I thought hyperloop was pretty neat, although probably not very practical. We already have tube-like pods that travel at 500 miles an hour elevated above the Earth's surface. Airplanes.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

    by terrypinder on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:32:16 AM PDT

    •  How many planes are solar powered? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AdamR510, HeyMikey, Cat4everrr

      Another thing. I want a transportation system where the time to wait for the next departure is one minute.

      Hyperloop can do this!

      •  sure. I already said it's pretty neat. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        I just think it's going to be far, far more expensive than he thinks and I really think there's a lot more work to be done.

        I work in transportation. It's not cheap, regardless of mode.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

        by terrypinder on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 06:04:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I say, you may be right! One way to find out. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          And that way is to do a serious engineering study and/or build a prototype.

          I say right off the bat that Hyperloop is not fully developed and certainly not ready to deploy tomorrow. There are enough innovative ideas here to justify a serious development efforts.

          Why?

          Because I want the USA to push beyond what we can do today. I want the USA to lead the way and be progressive in more ways than one!

          •  absolutely (0+ / 0-)

            we're on the same page here.

            Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

            by terrypinder on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:02:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But there is nothing here ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, gooderservice

            ... which justify the critique of the California HSR system. For one thing, he simply lies about the energy consumption of bullet train systems in order to justify his claim that his Hyperloop and his electric cars are massively more energy efficient than the kind of trains used in the California HSR system.

            Given that one is proven, tested technology and the other is a concept in the early research days of an R&D cycle, there is no intrinsic rivalry between the two as far as research funding or implementation funding ~ one doesn't require substantial research and the other is a decade or more away from full scale implementation.

            And given the characteristics of the proposed Hyperloop, in an actual transport setting, if economically feasible, it would complementary to rather than a rival to a 220mph HSR system as a component of a sustainable transport system.

            So the setting it out as "the answer to" the HSR being a highly effective addition to California's intercity transport system as opposed to being the coolest thing imaginable appears to be picking a fight in order to pick a fight.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:00:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Or, is it the supporters of HSR who have lied? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cat4everrr

              Is HSR riding on air bearings? Not Maglev, I mean California's purported high speed rail system.

              Does HSR have this very, very heavy locomotive that has to drag its own weight around?

              Does HSR have rolling resistance?
              Does HSR have air resistance?

              •  There is no need to base your argument ... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gooderservice, TealVeal

                ... on guesses and suppositions. Just research the facts instead of making stuff up.

                As far as a "very, very heavy locomotive that has to carry its weight around" ... well, no. Its a moderately heavy locomotive, and since it doesn't generate its electricity in train with a big diesel motor like the one you seem to be thinking of, it devotes the majority of its traction effort to actually hauling the carriages.

                Except of course for the ones that distribute the engines on power trucks throughout the train and don't have an electric locomotive at all.

                Which, if you had bothered to find out about your claims before you made them, you would know is also an arrangement that is sometimes used.

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                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:30:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Indeed, ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... when you look at the very low energy consumption of the passenger-only Hyperloop, its only the Tesla S and the passenger+car version that will end up being greater energy consumers than the HSR ... the passenger-only Hyperloop would still be right down there at the bottom of the energy consumption curve.

                Remember that I did not say that the energy consumption of the HSR is equal to the Hyperloop, I rather pointed out that the power consumption given as the power consumption of a "train" is a blatant lie regarding the power consumption of HSR trains actually in operation today, as we speak.

                You can hypothesize all you want, but the proposal has an energy consumption chart has the "train" consuming 900 megajoules for the LA-SF trip, or 1300kilojoules per pass-km. In this UIC paper on the subject of HSR carbon emissions, you can see that, for example, HSR in Spain draws 73Whr, or 263kilojoules.

                Back-converting to the trip, that is 182 megajoules for the LA-SF trip, placing it second to the Hyperloop passenger-only system in energy efficiency, ahead of both the Hyperloop passenger+car system and the Tesla S.

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                by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:42:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think anyone here is against (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF, terrypinder, gooderservice, RAST

            Mr. Musk funding an engineering study and a prototype.

            We are against halting the HSR project while he spends 10 years doing so.

            There are, as it happens, plenty of places to build such a project where an end-to end system could make sense, terminating at other transport hubs. He doesn't need to stop California HSR to have a place to build it.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:34:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The advocacy of HSR has left me cold (0+ / 0-)

              They could quit the project for all I care now.

              •  So are you going to throw yourself into ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NE2

                ... active opposition to the California HSR system because somebody said Elon Musk made a comparison of his Hyperloop proposal to the California HSR system that is full of holes?

                That makes is sound like you are running your brain on emotional energy with very little room for real world information input. In the real world, it doesn't make sense to get that emotionally invested in a proposal that has not yet been given enough development work to carry the weight of a cost estimate.

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                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:33:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Elon Musk said as much last week (0+ / 0-)

            Agree.  I sensed Musk didn't want folks to get ahead of themselves.  

            When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

            by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:41:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did he also say ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... his cost estimates were +100% to 500% (as opposed to +/- some %) and that his claims about HSR energy consumption were more than double the real figures?

              He made some claims he made a week ago. Those claims were full of holes but designed to get maximum attention. So Sunday Train is giving some of those claims the desired attention.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:51:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Given the passenger capacity of each pod ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        ... the "show and go" time in peak demand would obviously be several multiples of the departure frequency. This is not a subway where hundreds of people can board in under a minute ... its 22 people at a time, leaving at one to three minute separation (depending on a realistic headway, though for purposes of hyping the project he handwaved away the necessity of working out a realistic headway and decided to go with an absurdly unrealistic one in its place).

        So you'd get in the pod, possibly with a substantial wait if its peak demand period, then if its peak demand period, it would join the queue for its departure slot. Similar to getting into a small regional jet and having it wait for a runway.

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:07:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You haven't even tried to work on this! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          Let me first say that if Musk can't get people in and out fast enough then the idea falls apart. But it's not that hard...

          Just have dozens of cars ready for someone to get in simultaneously. Or... treat the seats as a unit and load it, with passengers from overhead.

          It takes a little creativity.

          The fundamental limitation is that HSR's model requires each locomotive to pull hundred's, even thousands of people every time they leave the station.

          And you divide the transport demand (passengers per 6 hour period) by the minimum economic number of passengers per locomotive and you get about 3 hours per departure for HSR.

          Not become of loading times. Loading times are not a fundamental limitation. But because of the net passenger manifest, which is a finite number.

          •  Three hours between departures? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NE2, gooderservice, RAST

            You are just making that up out of whole cloth. Look at real world HSR systems around the world. It doesn't take any "creativity" to work out that it will start with hourly service and work up from there.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:25:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  TGV runs every hour on average (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF, elfling

            During peak periods the trains are scheduled as little as 30 minutes apart.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:41:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Disney knows how to pack capsules. (0+ / 0-)

            How many people do they get through Pirates of the Caribbean in an hour?

            I think that they'll be able to pack the capsules very rapidly if there's incentive to do so.

            •  Speed of packing a capsule is not an issue ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... its speed of dispatching the capsules that is the issue. With 80 second headways, if eighty people are ahead of you, you are going into the fourth capsule that is 6:40 ahead, after those capsules that are already filled and waiting to go are sent off.

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              by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:48:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Except that airplans travel though and in fact (0+ / 0-)

      rely on air to work. A better analogy would be a similarly pie (or should I say pod) in the sky passenger transport scheme, scramjet-based hyperspeed.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:30:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, they are electric "ground planes". (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      Engineered to be very energy efficient.

      Which could make them an interesting option, but the pretense that they could be built for less per passenger capacity than conventional HSR and the need to go LA/SF to lay the foundation for hyping it as an alternative to the California HSR system requires a systen design with ride characteristics closer to a roller coaster than a normal mode of transport.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:00:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is a technical reason why Hyperloop... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat4everrr, aseth

        Here is a technical reason why Hyperloop may be less expensive -- for better service! -- than High Speed Rail.

        Weight.

        If you put your train on an elevated structure, even for part of the route, weight is going to make all the difference.

        And even if you don't, weight is going to be the biggest factor in how much energy it takes to move people from point A to point B.*

        And Hyperloop doesn't have a 20 ton (or whatever) locomotive. In fact, the main engine for the Hyperloop car is stationary. It is a linear motor at each end, and at booster stations along the way.

        Now, it is absolutely true that the Hyperloop has this double wall tube structure and that has weight too! But it is stationary. Not 20 tons of moving point load like a locomotive.

        Now let's talk about rolling friction.

        Trains have it.
        Hyperloop does not.

        So, Hyperloop has the cost advantage due to weight. Hyperloop also has the energy (another cost!) advantage due to weight and rolling friction and air resistance. Hyperloop can recover much of the kinetic energy from regenerative braking.

        *The other big factor on how much energy it takes to go from point A to point B is of course AIR RESISTANCE. Which bodes well for Hyperloop cars, traveling in a partially evacuated tube!

        •  The California HSR doesn't use ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NE2

          ... a freight locomotive.

          You are just making up figures to reach the conclusion you want to reach.

          Instead, go and find some figures, instead of playing lets pretend.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:59:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  HSR doesn't use a locomotive? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cat4everrr

            Then lets scale the self-powered passenger cars to hold 22 people, put them on air bearings, and put them in a partially evacuated tube to get rid of the head wind losses!

            •  It doesn't use a freight locomotive. (0+ / 0-)

              Whether it will use a locomotive or not depends on which trainset they buy. Some systems do, some systems don't.

              As anybody knows, part of the energy efficiency of the train comes from the fact that the carriages are coupled together to form a train, so that as opposed to individual vehicles, each following carriage travels in the slipstream of the carriage in front of it.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:38:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The tube weighs as much as an HST does. (0+ / 0-)

          And the track and track support structure is less than 20% of the weight of the tube or the HST, so the weight of the HSR viaduct is no more than 120% as much as the weight of the Hyperloop viaduct.

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          by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:50:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why would Musk do this? (0+ / 0-)

    Is it an ego thing, or could he have more tangible reasons for trashing HSR? Is HSR seen as something that might someday eat into his EV business? Or is he one of those government can do no right libertarians?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:24:31 AM PDT

    •  I dunno. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      I don't have any special access to his thinking or special psychological insight to bring to bear, so I'd just be joining the buzz of underinformed online speculation.

      It is true that the kind of high performance, high price electric cars he is building are not for the middle class, and the SpaceX idea is that an entrepreneur unencumbered by the bureaucratic traditions of NASA can substantially undercut government provision of the same services, so it may well just be a hero fantasy in which he promotes a fast, high tech point to point transport system as a kind of plug and play replacement to the status quo system without ever sitting down and learning how alternative systems work.

      The version in which you can bring your $100,000 high performance electric car along (well, any car, but those are the kind of cars he sells) would fit with buying into the airport and airplane model of intercity travel, and viewing the main challenge as making some version of a regional intercity plane that can run on electricity and bring your car with you.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:54:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was mainly asking if he had any known (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF

        personal or business reasons for opposing HSR, i.e. a conflict of interest. Because if not, and his objections were silly, then it would HAVE to be ego.

        And from what I've read and know about him, I suspect that it is, because he seems like the kind of guy who needs to be the smartest and coolest guy in the room (like our president), and because he seems to enjoy competition.

        But hey, so long as he doesn't become a serious opponent of HSR who can block or stall it, who cares? Let him have his fun, and for all we know he might inadvertently push HSR to be even better. Maybe we'll even get a workable retail jetpack out of all this before he's through.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:01:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Musk is the smartest guy in the room. Peep this (0+ / 0-)

          When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

          by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:23:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's a car maker. (0+ / 0-)

          There's always that.

          If you only drive locally in LA, you might get by with a neighborhood electric vehicle and just drive to the closest station to get to the closest HSR station for intra-state travel. That would be the opposite to the kind of cool, expensive freeway-capable cars that he's specialized in building.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:31:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A Tesla owner I'm aquanited with (0+ / 0-)

            plugs the car into the washer/dryer plug over night.  My understanding is that if you can't get to a station (which really looks like several parking spaces in s shopping center parking lot with hook up gagets ((very cool)) verses a full blown gas station) you simply put in a new battery pack ((more super cool points)).  Sorta like changing the batteries in a toy electric car.  Is this inaccurate?

            I was told by the owner that is relatively inexpensive to fuel the car.

            When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

            by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:49:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Its relatively inexpensive to fuel an electric car (0+ / 0-)

              But a neighborhood electric vehicle, with a top speed of 20mph-25mph, drivable on streets up to 35mph, will run you $12,000 or less, while a Tesla will set you back $60,000-$100,000. And that is as at craft market volumes ~ if they became an appreciable slice of our transport alternatives, the price would be down into four figures, like the ebikes that run from $1,000-$7,000.

              And they are more energy efficient than a Tesla. Tailoring to a specific transport task can get you that sometimes.

              So someone who only needs a car for local transport and doesn't need it to be freeway capable could keep quite a bit more money in their own pocket, so long as they lived in a part of the city with a street grid as opposed to cul-de-sacs connected only to stroads.

              However, for an LA resident, then you'd prefer multiple HSR stations that effectively connect to LA's growing public transport system, and wouldn't be so keen on driving up to Sylmar and taking your glorified golf cart with you up to San Francisco.

              Similar to cyclists, those who rely on public transport for local trips, and those how drive old clunkers around town and don't want risk them on long freeway trips.

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              by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:08:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I get what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

                I really do.  But for me the issue is larger than just a "California Issue".  The first headline that I read on this was
                LA to NY in under 45 minutes".  This is a national discussion.  Maybe the real question should be whether or not the federal government should fund a nation wide implementation of the technology.  

                When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:14:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  LA to NY in 45 minutes ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... has nothing to do with a 700mph vehicle. Its more than 700 miles, ergo much be more than an hour.

                  That sounds like someone writing a headline who didn't understand the piece, possibly combined with somebody writing the piece who didn't understand the proposal.

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                  by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:53:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I assume they're referring to scramjet-powered (0+ / 0-)

                    hyperspeed craft, which could do this in theory, but are likely decades away from commercial realization, if ever. No one NEEDS to travel this fast except maybe some military types, and they have planes that can almost go that fast.

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:37:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They are referring to ... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... some whitepaper somewhere about a potential 35000km/hr Maglev if it was implemented, a la Hyperloop, to run through a vacuum tube.

                      I think that the 3500km/hr is not just a very low pressure tube, but an actual hard vacuum tube.

                      None of that can be laid at Elon Musk's feet. He may not have the firmest grasp on all the real work factors of costing a complex transport system or designing a common carrier system to meet a range of transport needs ...

                      ... but he never said anything about 3500km/hr trains.

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                      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:14:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  God! 20 miles per hour? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cat4everrr

                The danger is that you might die of old age before you get where you are going.

                Are you retired, living off the perimeter of a golf course? Then a 20 mph electric vehicle might be just what you need.

                •  Not if you use it for local transport. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NE2

                  If you can get to the supermarket, to the place where you catch the train or express bus to work, to the public library, to some nice restaurants, and to a regional transport hub from which you can get to everywhere else you need to go ... that's what matters.

                  Its only juveniles that are excited by speed for its own sake who really care about how fast that is. And increasingly the juveniles are finding driving to be a chore that takes them away from their social media.

                  Surely many people living in outer suburbia and exurbia need faster transport, but that's because they are living out in the areas that are going to turn into slums when the shit hits the fan. But a sustainable transport system won't be built on one-size-fits-all solutions, it will be built on solutions that do their job efficiently.

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                  by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:45:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  In defense of Tesla Motors. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, Cat4everrr, aseth
        the kind of high performance, high price electric cars he is building are not for the middle class
        Musk has said--and I think he's right--that the impediment to mass adoption of electric cars is not technology but psychology. EVs are commonly viewed as regrettable necessities, not as aspirations. His plan to fix that is to start at the top of the market and work downward. Thus the first Tesla, the Roadster, was a sports car that competed with rich peoples' toys like Ferraris and Porsches. The current Tesla S competes with somewhat less rich peoples' everyday transportation, like mid-to-upper-range BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis. The "Gen 3" Tesla sedan, current target release late 2016, is intended to be higher-volume, lower-price; it will compete with Cadillacs, Lincolns, maybe Buicks and newer "aspirational" cars like the Kia Cadenza and Hyundai Genesis sedan.

        Assuming all goes well, Musk intends to keep working his way into lower prices and higher volumes. I believe the current Tesla production line uses only about 25% of the space in its factory. (Which is the old GM/Toyota NUMMI plant in California--another point in Tesla's favor.)

        Musk's idea is not necessarily to become the dominant EV maker, though he'd be glad for that to happen. Instead his plan is to get the average mass-market buyer to see EVs generally as not just acceptable, but desirable; thus to hasten the weaning of the mass market off fossil fuel.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:23:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But its not as if ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, NE2

          ... a transportation system with all our gasoline powered cars swapped for electric cars is actually a sustainable transport system. We need to replace the one-size fits all, force people to drive system with a system with a range of transport alternatives that are actually fit for the tasks they are called on to perform.

          Since personal vehicles will still have a slice of a sustainable system, its fine that he goes on focusing on making EV's "cool" ... but it would be a strategic blunder for California were to prioritize the "cool" factor over a functional intercity transport backbone, which suggests that its a good thing they didn't have Elon Musk design the thing.

          That is, its far from perfect as designed, but when its finished it will still be quite useful, while chasing the "cool" factor would been better than 50:50 odds of leaving California high and dry when the shit hits the fan.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:50:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think he is doing it because he is PROGRESSIVE. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr, aseth

      Look at what he is doing at Tesla and Space X.

      The guy really believes that America is PROGRESSIVE both technology and, I dare say, politically.

      •  What on earth (literally) does that mean? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF

        How is pushing an impractical if "sexy" idea over a practical if more pedestrian (so to speak) idea count as progressive? I'd rather PROGRESS forward slowly but surely than merely dream of progressing fast. HSR is real. This is not.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:20:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Progress means making it better. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          Faster is better than slower.
          Except in Yoga, I guess.

          If you don't accept that, then you must HATE the California HSR!

          What's the point of this faster alternative to the pedestrian options like walking, bike riding and... Greyhound?

          •  Now you sound like an AT&T commercial. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NE2

            Its not even faster for someone who lives too far from the Hyperloop station headed to someplace too far from the Hyperloop station on the other side.

            That's the downside of "ground based airplane" style modes as a one-size-fits-all solution, they end up having too few stations to be able to provide the effective door to door transit times that a bullet train can offer.

            OTOH, they could well play the role of an effective complement to the much broader footprint of an HSR station network.

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:48:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This is a non-sequitor (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NE2, BruceMcF

            HSR is doable NOW. This tube idea might work someday, but it's just an idea now. Progress means actual progress, not the idea of progress. Only HSR can deliver that now. Ever heard of TGVs? 25 years and going.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:39:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But 'progressive' ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... in a techno-fix, gagdetbahn Popular Science kind of way, as opposed to a "bring proven solutions to chronic problems to the people of California" kind of way?

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        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:51:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sidewalks are THE proven solution. (0+ / 0-)

          No progressives HERE at DailyKos, I guess.

          •  Not the proven solution to intercity travel. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kovie

            The idea of one-size-fits-all solutions is flawed. Sidewalks are great solutions to the problem of local transport at walking scale distances.

            They don't solve the problem of getting from San Jose to San Jose, for example, but it would be idiotic to demand that every mode of transport does every job.

            Actually, Hyperloop doesn't actually solve the problem of getting from San Jose to Anaheim, either. Funny thing, that.

            Never mind, through, nobody every goes to Disneyland, anymore ... after all, its too crowded!

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            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:52:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Robert Moses was supposedly progressive. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BruceMcF

        Bahahaha.

        warning: snark above

        by NE2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:12:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Given the comments of our one man ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... Elon Musk defense force, one possibility that occurs to me is that he looked around at the image of the HSR that opponents have succeeded in implanting both among the underinformed and among those already biased against trains, and just deciding that slandering the California HSR was the easy way to get noticed.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:39:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks! Pylons/route. High speed bus? (0+ / 0-)

    (1) Thanks, Bruce, for this informative, professionally-thought-out, insightful analysis.

    (2) Part of the deal with pylons, I think, is that they'd allow a straighter route than the interstate highway underneath them. Assuming the dual tubes are narrower than the several lanes of interstate plus emergency lanes and median, the tubes could take the inside of every curve. You'd still have to buy some right-of-way to straighten the tightest turns, but it would be less than buying ROW for a whole new route. Dunno if this is part of Musk's proposal. The same could be done for HSR, of course, but would be more expensive due to the greater weight involved.

    (3) As an interim, relatively low-cost project--how about developing a high-speed bus, with a dedicated lane on I-5? China has announced a 300-passenger bus, articulated in two places to handle curves. ( http://www.smartplanet.com/... ) Surely it's slow, but just as surely buses could be built to go something over 100 MPH, maybe 200 MPH with off-the-shelf technology. (NASCAR cars go 200+ MPH using pushrod engines with carburetors.) Such as:

    * Fit an aero nose and aero tail.

    * More aero: Make the buses narrower (fewer passengers per row, but that's acceptable), lower, and longer; put the luggage in the back or center instead of below. Articulate in three or more places if necessary. Use computer-controlled rear-wheel (or even mid-wheel) steering to handle curves; this is old news in the auto world.

    * Actually, put the luggage in the front. In case of crash, it will absorb some impact, and will not come hurtling through the passenger compartment.

    * Use more tires than necessary to carry the load—to avoid crashing when the inevitable blowout happens. Align the tires front-to-back instead of side-to-side to improve aero.

    * Build a concrete barrier between the bus lane and the adjoining auto lane.

    * Eliminate driver error with sensors embedded in the roadway or concrete barrier to steer the bus via onboard computer at high speeds. Note: Volvo, Mercedes, BMW and Audi already sell (or are about to release) cars to the general public that will drive themselves in traffic jams up to 37 MPH—even without, obviously, sensors embedded in the roadway.

    Eliminating one or two lanes for regular traffic on I-5 would be a nonstarter for the usual GOP suspects; a regrettable but acceptable drawback for some; and a plus for those who see the big picture.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:03:14 AM PDT

    •  High speed bus? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr

      I'd rather spend the money on a state wide system of sidewalks.

      •  A statewide system of sidewalks ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... would be an excellent investment. Also cycleways and cycle boulevards. Also local light rail and mass transit. Also trolleybuses.

        Plenty of room for improvement in California's local and intercity bus systems when it comes to that, but I'm skeptical that a "high speed bus" as in faster than 70mph is actually the best solution to any particular intercity transport task.

        OTOH, roll up a proposal, and I'll be happy to have a look at it.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:56:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The freeway system curves ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      ... are cambered for their design speed.

      The way to get higher speed buses is to give them a separated priority lane on the left hand side of the freeway in congested areas. The speed upgrade would be more in urban areas than in the areas in between.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:55:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the pylons ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... yes, the pylons would allow a greater curve radius than the road. But its still not arrow-straight.

      And there's still the problem of vertical curve radius, since the transition spiral to stay within 0.5g horizontal acceleration and avoid the "zero G" effect at the top of the transition spiral is quite lengthy at 700mph. The actual maximum incline would be higher for the Hyperloop, but the requirement to transition from the upward slope to straight over a long enough stretch to stay within the 0.5g horizontal acceleration means that you can't take much advantage of that maximum incline, and you need quite long runs to make quite modest rises.

      That increases the pylon costs compared to HSR, which traveling at 220mph maximum has a much shorter transition spiral, which allows for operating at grade or on shorter pylons at the same distance from a required clearance.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:59:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am frankly surprised... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat4everrr

    I am frankly surprised that the liberal audience of DailyKos isn't more PROGRESSIVE.

    This is what technological progress looks like, folks!

    And engineer with some brilliant ideas, but ideas which need some work.

    Where is the can-do American attitude that is at least OPEN TO THE IDEA of single payer health care, just to pick one example.

    Single payer health care (true for Obamacare, just less so) requires a leap of faith, that when we rip up the old we can replace it with something BETTER.

    And that same leap of faith says if problems come up, WE WILL FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK.

    That is progressivism!

    Do we have any progressives here, today???

    •  First the Fat Boys break up and now this [sigh] (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jack M

      I want my old Kos back.  Musk faced the same up hill battle with Tesla.  Hoping he ignores the big guns in this venture as well.

      By the way, unfortunately we lost the battle here in Virginia to purchase a Tesla car without having to go through a dealership.  Nonetheless, they continue to fight the good fight.

      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

      by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:20:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being a progressive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr, elfling, BruceMcF

      Who needs that antiquated early 21st century technology of the tube shooting a pod along? A TRUE progressive would favor teleportation (beaming). Hell, Larry Niven offered a vision (in a story, not a pdf, but still) of a world linked by teleportation 40 years ago! We have the vision, all we need is some good old American can-do attitude, and zap! pow!  New York to Mumbai instantaneously! Yes, there are some problems, like we have only just begun to tinker with quantum entanglement, but come on, where is your willingness to make a leap of faith?

      "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

      by Reston history guy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:36:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The issue is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jack M

        those who attempt to beat down a new concept over the head with a frying pan [ala Karl Rove] before a schema can be idealized.  I posted a speculative diary yesterday exploring possibilities associated with quantum entanglement.  You should read some of the responses I received for simply throwing an idea out there.

        When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

        by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:10:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NE2, BruceMcF

            Not exactly. The issue is a proven technology (electrified true HSR) already under construction versus a mere concept, which as Bruce's diary so beautifully shows, is far from being even build able, let alone practical. I don't think ideas are the problem. The problem is reality.

          "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

          by Reston history guy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:49:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My diary does not actually say whether its ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... buildable. It probably is, at some cost.

            My diary says there's no reason to take Elon Musk's estimates of the cost of building it seriously. There are too many optimistic or unrealistic assumptions, while ignoring too many issues that real transport systems have to address.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:01:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That is exactly what conservative do. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cat4everrr

          Try to beat down new ideas ala Karl Rove.

          This is a bunch of good ideas.
          This is a proposal which, while ambitious, is not Star Trek nonsense.

          It is more like "let's build a computer that can do a petaflop of calculations per second".  No one may have built a computer to do this yet, but I know we can do it.

          •  The argument being made, though ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NE2

            ... is actually, "lets stop buying the most effective computers we currently have for doing that job, and wait until the better computer is developed".

            Nothing in this diary says don't build Elon Musk's Hyperloop anywhere. It just points out that the claims being made in a specific part of his argument are full of holes.

            And nothing that you have written yet has actually countered any of the sources I linked to in the piece, while many of your comments make claims that are pure fictions.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:59:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  actually, your incessant comments (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF, TealVeal

            are far more like right-wing, old-man rage than the diarist, who somehow has managed to keep his temper despite your goading. And yes, you are right, the hyper loop is not "Star Trek nonsense", and yes, someone who supported dumping current known and proven technology in order to  pour an unknown amount of money into teleportation would be a "fool", to use your phrase.
                  What you don't seem to get is that I am mocking you and your repeated and totally unsupported assertions about the hyper loop. I am mocking your inability to respond directly and in a civil way to comments which show the holes in your logic. I am mocking your ALL CAPS shouting. I just don't like you. I am pissed at you for showing up in one of my favorite weekly diaries. Go do something productive like yelling at kids to get off of your lawn.

            "Something has gone very wrong with America, not just its economy, but its ability to function as a democratic nation. And it’s hard to see when or how that wrongness will get fixed." Paul Krugman and Robin Wells

            by Reston history guy on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:29:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Some of us prefer the physically possible (0+ / 0-)

        You want slow, I give you the sidewalk.
        You want reliable, I give you the sidewalk.
        You want proven, I give you the sidewalk.

        You want to sound like a fool, talk to me about teleportation.

        •  I am talking about intercity transport. (0+ / 0-)

          Only an idiot would claim that the sidewalk is intercity sidewalk.

          Therefore this argument is just a Red Herring to divert from the lack of substance of the claims you have made.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:00:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think we should abandon this old-fashioned ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... "Star Trek" teleportation technology with its speed of light limits and move straight to wormholes allowing truly high speed transport.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:09:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Some technological ideas just aren't workable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr

      Like nuclear driven planes that never have to land.  This could be built, but I don't think it is economically viable.  Too low capacity per $ spent to build the thing. It'd be a rich person's toy and need expensive maintenance.

      "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

      by nightsweat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:59:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read in the Washington Post this morning (0+ / 0-)

        that unemployment ticked up.  This could be the perfect opportunity to create new jobs with new technology...well, not quite new since it's already being used in other countries.

        When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

        by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:14:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is nothing that out there in the Hyperloop (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cat4everrr

        It is an application of technologies, like air bearings, that industry knows how to build.

        And regardless of the lies certain people have told, it has the capacity needed for San Francisco to LA.

        •  That's what innovation largely consist of. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling

          Putting together existing technologies in novel ways.

          And until these technologies have been trialed put together in these ways, the combination remains untried technology.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:01:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sure there is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BruceMcF

          There's the problem of acceleration and its effects on the human body, and the problems of biology  To get to the speeds he's talking about over the distances envisioned, you're going to have to accelerate pretty quickly.  The concept drawings show a vehicle that disallows getting up or walking around for nutrition, bathroom breaks, any of that.

          Maybe there's something to the idea, but as envisioned now, it's a Concorde - an impractical billionaire's toy that will be too expensive to recoup its initial construction and maintenance costs.

          "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

          by nightsweat on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 07:02:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many people can hold it for ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... thirty minutes ...

            ... indeed, around the world, many mass transit routes of under an hour are served by trains without toilets ~ buses and trains.

            That includes a half hour or more non-stop, on some express bus or train routes.

            I even once took a commercial flight from St Vincent to Grenada on a plane that was two across, no aisle, no bathroom. But then, St. Vincent to Grenada is not a long flight.

            That would be a primary reason for the range limit for this mini-vactrain concept (NB: soft vacuum rather than hard vacuum, otherwise the air cushion doesn't work).

            Above an hour trip, and you need facilities, which mean you need to be able to move around, which means a bigger cross section, which means you are into vactrain territory rather than mini-vactrain.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:13:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, I come from the ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NE2, icemilkcoffee

      ... older Daily Kos tradition of reality based blogging, and so prefer fact-based evaluation of cost and transport effectiveness claims.

      If Elon Musk had not claimed that the Hyperloop would be cheaper and more effective than the California HSR system in progress, then there would be no reason to subject those claims to critical scrutiny, as opposed to the cheerleader approach that you are calling for.

      And if you wish to bring yourself up to that standard, then start including actual facts and actual sources in your responses to my post.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:59:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please show us the details (0+ / 0-)

        of how you have reached your cost conclusions.

        When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

        by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have. (0+ / 0-)

          Haven't you followed the links in the article?

          Unlike Jack M, I linked to my sources. You can read each paragraph of each of them if you wish, and quote a paragraph and point out what you feel is a flaw in their argument, if you wish.

          If you aren't comfortable doing that in raw html, that's what those "link" and "blockquote" buttons down there are for.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:03:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Faith" being the key word (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NE2, elfling, BruceMcF

      Look, I think Musk is a very smart guy, brilliant even, but the level of idolization sometimes borders on religious.

      Just because something is cool doesn't make it practical.

      Concorde and the Space Shuttle being two notable examples.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:59:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Space Shuttle was marginally practical ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... for the Congress for which it was first designed and the technology of the day.

        But only marginally, so its no surprise that it eventually became obsolete.

        The Concorde was also on the margin, but rather on the impractical side, with simply too limited passenger capacity for commercial viability.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:07:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maglev Trains are new to this country, why (0+ / 0-)

    is the US so late in getting in gear with this technology.  Sad that we wouldn't be having this discussion if Musk hadn't unvelied his idea.

    More on maglev trains-

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:48:08 AM PDT

    •  If they can do Paris to Moscow in six hours (0+ / 0-)

      why is LA to NY in under 45 minutes a discussion?

      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

      by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:49:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because of cost cutting in newspapers. (0+ / 0-)

        You have too many newspapers with too little knowledge spread among their remaining reporters, that kind of nonsense slips through.

        Elon Musk certainly cannot be blamed for any LA to NY in 45 minutes story about the Hyperloop ~ he specifically points to the Hyperloop being for 900 miles and under routes.

        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:03:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I admire your conviction (0+ / 0-)

          at a local level.  However, as the youtube clip posted earlier indicates, Germany is already working on a 3500 mile per hour train.  The US is playing catch up.  This should be a nationwide discussion rather than being confined to a discussion about California.

          Mr. Musk seemed to have went through great lengths to  lower the expectation last week.  If nothing else, he has advanced the conversation.

          When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

          by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:08:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody is working on a 3,500mph train. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            auron renouille, NE2

            You make be thinking 350km/hr, which is 220mph, which is the California HSR train.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:04:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay (0+ / 0-)

              you lose me when you assume the right to speak for other nations.  I'm gonna have to let you just win on this one.  

              When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

              by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:38:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please feel free to link to the 3,500 mph train (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                auron renouille, NE2

                I'll help you out by pointing out that's 5633 km/hr, which would be the units Germans would use.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:52:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's posted in this thread (0+ / 0-)

                  already

                  When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                  by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:55:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If I had found it, I wouldn't have asked. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:47:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No worries (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      elfling

                      For your viewing pleasure- http://www.youtube.com/...

                      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                      by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:49:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They are trying for 3500 km/hr (0+ / 0-)

                        with a maglev system. Note that is not mph; equivalent mph would be 2100 mph. Still about mach 3, in typical earth atmosphere.

                        But the actual speed of those trains right now - is 430 km/hr. Getting past the speed of sound is a really big deal, as it happens, and so they also would have to run in vacuum tubes. No one has done it so far.

                        Maglev is really cool and people did talk about maglev for California. There is a lot of writing out there that will talk about the political and logistical reasons that maglev was not selected, if you care to search for it.

                        This kind of system would be what you'd choose if you wanted to build a cross country express route. It's really too fast for a California system because you would spend so much energy accelerating and decelerating.

                        They're very sleek and I'd love to be able to get to the east coast in an hour on one, for sure.

                        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                        by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:02:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          elfling

                          thank you for the correction- 2100 mph and not 3500 mph.  I stand corrected

                          When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                          by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:06:46 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Thanks for taking the time (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            elfling

                            to check the clip out.

                            When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                            by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:07:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Also, not 'working on' ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NE2

                            ... a 2100mph train, but working on a train that uses a technology that in a different train inside a vacuum tube would be theoretically capable of traveling up to 2100mph.

                            Its just not accurate to say that the Germans are working on a train that can go 2100mph. They aren't. Instead, they worked out the theoretical limit of speed for their type of Maglev drive and gave the program the number out because it sounds impressive.

                            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                            by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:11:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  And I think 'trying' is probably an overstatement (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          BruceMcF

                          that is, I don't think anyone is actually in the process of building maglev-in-vaccum. It is instead that the possibility has been asserted as a jump from current maglev, and that white papers of various sorts have been written.

                          Here is a discussion of some of the hurdles, article picked somewhat at random:

                          http://www.gizmag.com/...

                          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                          by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:09:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  That clip says that ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NE2

                        ... the Maglev technology would be theoretically capable of 3,500km/hr (2175mph) if placed in a vacuum tube.

                        It doesn't say that the Germans are actually working on a train with an upper speed of 3,500km/hr. It says "theoretically capable of".

                        Its rather a 400km/hr train shown in the clip, which is 250mph, which is 30mph faster than the current generation of Express HSR. The Chinese Maglev described in the clip goes 430km/hr, or 270mph.

                        Once the California HSR system is built out, if demand for services begins to press against the California HSR capacity, then it could well make sense to build a Maglev or Hyperloop system from Sylmar to a location in the Bay that is well connected with SF Mass Transit ... since then the problem of leaving so many areas of the state underserved wouldn't be a problem.

                        Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                        by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:05:37 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                          thank you for the correction 2175 mph and NOT 3500 mph

                          When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                          by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:22:42 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  What the fuck (nt) (0+ / 0-)

                warning: snark above

                by NE2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:48:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "in theory at least" "by building vacuum tubes" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BruceMcF

            http://www.youtube.com/...
            The video says nothing about anyone actually working on this.

            PS: it's 3500 KILOMETERS per hour.
            PPS: what happened to transistors? /snark

            warning: snark above

            by NE2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:01:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  heh. maglev. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr, BruceMcF

      there are several maglev studies including a few still ongoing and at least one test track that I know of. it's not going to be going anywhere anytime soon.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

      by terrypinder on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:44:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maglev is great, but... $1 billion a mile (0+ / 0-)
  •  I always wondered (0+ / 0-)

    Monorails have so many weird issues.  Why not build a two strip maglev with a more bowl-like track that could do switches cheaply, and not be problematic for emergency exits.

    I'm sure there's some cost /lack of coolness reason I haven't thought of.

    "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

    by nightsweat on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 09:57:32 AM PDT

  •  If the issue is comfortability (0+ / 0-)

    why not ask ask consumers who are already using the technology in other countries to rate their level of comfortability on a scale of 1 to 10.  

    When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 10:22:12 AM PDT

    •  What (nt) (0+ / 0-)

      warning: snark above

      by NE2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:24:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  methinks (0+ / 0-)

        you should consider throwing back a few beers to loosen up a bit :0)

        When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

        by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 05:01:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The have an even better way of doing that ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      ... with bullet trains overseas.

      They sell tickets, and the customers are willing to pay prices that cover the cost of operation with a surplus. In some of the best corridors, they are willing to pay prices that cover the cost of the operation and the corridors construction, with a surplus.

      Of course, the Europeans and Japanese do not subsidize car infrastructure and operations to the extent that we do, but still the California HSR system will be able to comfortably cover its operating costs with a surplus to devote to system expansion.

      Nobody has an operational Hyperloop system built to the proposed standards, so nobody can take a survey on how it feels. But when Italy tried tilt trains with lateral accelerations 20% as extreme as the standard proposed in the Hyperloop proposal, customers complained about it and were not as interested in buying tickets, so they set the maximum allowed lateral acceleration a bit lower than that.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:10:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are right about the HyperLoop, but wrong to (0+ / 0-)

    defend the California State government and its inability to set priorities. They, like Obama and most Democrats, seek to please everybody; that results in insufficient funding of big complex projects, excessive focus on the short term and deference to Wall Street pseudo-events.

    Musk is a smart con man. Tesla motors has paid off its federal loan, which is good, but the company is still in the red. It's been able to sell stock because Musk is great with publicity. Tesla's accounting practices smack of Enron. Musk's Hyper Loop proposal skirts many problems. HSR is proven technology.  Nobody has transported even a dog or cat by anything like HyperLoop and the problem of security is far from trivial.

    One reason that France and Japan could build modern trains and we couldn't is that their infrastructure was massively destroyed during WWII and they started up again with a more centralized model. They didn't subsidize the car industry like we did and their political culture is more conducive to 10 and 20 year plans than our hateful culture. HSR is not in the list of California's top 5 problems. Public education is in desperate shape, water is a big issue, prison overcrowding, unreasonable drug laws and choked freeways are all more pressing. Yes, the tea baggers hate HSR but that doesn't mean that it should be our number one or even number five priority.

    •  Ummm (0+ / 0-)

      you do realize that the ONLY problem that Tesla currently has is that it can't build enough cars to meet demand (a problem that momentarily drove down the stock last month).  If you thought back orders are a problem here in the states there is a huge inventory back log in other countries such as China based on the news articles I've read in the past month.  

      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

      by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:07:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, what a robust defense I made. (0+ / 0-)

      Calling it a meat grinder adding $10b or more unnecessary costs ~ high praise indeed.

      /sarcasm

      I'm not defending the process that California went through to get here. I was just pointing out that when you set aside ideology-first opposition from the right and the spin from California politicians trying to grab the loot for some other purpose, the system when finally built will be more useful than a lot of people realize.

      It could have been done better, and cheaper, so compared to perfection, it falls short. But we build human institutions from human behavior, and when building with such crooked timber, its hard to get perfectly squared off rooms.

      If the California HSR Phase 1 route was a marginal proposition, between the CHSRA and the California State Legislature, it would surely have been pushed over the edge to more cost than its worth. But its not a marginal proposition, and it can take a number of $10b politically inspired cost hits and still come out the other side as an effective system.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:10:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess 'con man' means technically innovative (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat4everrr, AdamR510

      Because this appears to be the Thomas Edison of our age. Not Steve Jobs.

  •  I'm still cautiously optimistic (0+ / 0-)

    Personally I think the train system we're working on is probably never going to happen because it's too expensive, far too slow, and there's way too much opposition to it.  

    Though I was just thinking about security on the hyperloop and realized that a high caliber rifle with the right kind of rounds could probably put either a big dent or possibly a hole in the tube...

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 11:08:51 AM PDT

    •  The definition of too much opposition ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      ... is enough to halt a project. It hasn't halted yet. Once ground is broken, the first two stages of the Fresno to LA segment will surely be built. The effort to stop it will then turn to the third and final stages of the Fresno to LA segment.

      If those stages get built, then an initial service will start running, and the politics of the state make it as close to a lock as you get in politics that the system will be pushed through north from Fresno to San Francisco.

      Once the SF/LA section is running, there won't be any stopping it.

      That's why efforts to stop it have been so noisy and frenetic and so much has been invested in disinformation over the past three years. Stopping it now that the first stages of construction have been funded is getting harder and harder.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:15:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How much demand will there be (0+ / 0-)

        for Fresno-to-LA? Who the hell wants to go to Fresno?

        Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

        by milkbone on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:01:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The 1 million people who live there (nt) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, BruceMcF

          warning: snark above

          by NE2 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:05:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The people who went ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, sleipner

          ... Fresno to LA, when they are going back home. Just as the demand to go SF to Fresno will mostly be the people who originally went Fresno to SF.

          Because of the high cost of air travel, a substantially higher proportion of that travel today goes on freeways rather than by air than for similar trips by LA and SF residents who receive substantially better air travel options ... so for those trips, a larger proportion will be diverted from road transport and a smaller proportion from air transport.

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          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:13:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is a ton of demand there (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sleipner, BruceMcF

          Air transport out of Fresno is problematic and extremely expensive to LA or SF. (Sometimes you have to take hops through Las Vegas, for example.) We have a large CSU there. Residents routinely drive 3 hours to catch a flight out of the Bay Area.

          It is a large metro area, and people would travel in and out more if it was more convenient.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:59:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You could do bad things to airplanes or HSR... (0+ / 0-)

      the details of which I am not going to here. I really don't want to give anyone any ideas.

  •  I just don't get the rationale (0+ / 0-)

    behind investing in old technology when technology is clearly headed in a different direction.  

    When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 12:42:22 PM PDT

    •  What is the indication that ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... technology is heading in a different direction?

      There is far more investment annually in new bullet train corridors around the world than any alternative intercity transport option.

      And as noted, once California has the HSR system in place, that is likely to offer better conditions for something like the Hyperloop.

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      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:16:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't need me posting (0+ / 0-)

        more youtube videos to illustrate an obvious point- the US lags behind other technically advanced countries in this particular area.  Feel free to check out the youtube clip I've already posted.  As mentioned before, the Germans are working on a 3500 mile hour train.  

        When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

        by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:36:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heck, I'll post a 3500mph train video ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NE2

          ... a simulation of a 3500mph train:

          Since its not real world physics, its not all that useful for actual travel.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:57:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's only mach 4.5 (0+ / 0-)

            child's play.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:03:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You guys seem to be pretty smart (0+ / 0-)

              Are you seriously suggesting that Magnev and other like technology isn't currently being used by other countries?  I'm not sure if you are seriously asking us to close our eyes and pretend or if there is some point that you are about to make that will explain all of this.

              When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

              by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 03:54:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not saying any such thing ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... but pointing out that three thousand, five hundred miles an hour is four and a half times the speed of sound. That's what elfling means by Mach 4.5. There is no Maglev train that goes that fast.

                If a headline is talking about 45 minutes LA to NY, they are talking about Mach 4.5 supersonic jets, not about trains. If they say its about trains, they have skimmed EM's proposal and got themselves confused between his description of the Hyperloop and his discussion of supersonic planes for longer distances.

                The top speed of Maglev certainly is higher than the top speed of conventional bullet trains, but the question is whether a $150b+ system is worth the extra speed (I would have said $100b+ four years ago, but after looking at the meat grinder that the California political system put the California HSR through, I'm adding an extra 50% political inefficiency tax).

                As far as working out whether it is, the extra passenger demand would not generate sufficient extra ticket revenue to pay for the extra construction cost, so its whether the state government is willing to pay the extra amount as an extra state subsidy. I don't think the State of California is willing to do that.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:22:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We seem to be getting our signals crossed (0+ / 0-)

                  the youtube clip points out that the Germans are WORKING on a train that goes 3500 mph.  Maybe I didn't stress "working on" enough.  

                  The point that I seem to be poorly making is thus- other countries are far ahead of the US and seem to be pushing the envelope even farther while we on the other hand are stuck on a conversation on Hyperloop vs. HSR.

                  When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                  by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:30:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  That's not to say (0+ / 0-)

                  that you don't make a pretty convincing case regarding cost.  I can appreciate your point and it makes sense.  However, it seems to me that this should be a conversation that should be had at a national level.

                  When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

                  by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 04:38:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Whenever one starts thinking one's self (0+ / 0-)

    into territory one presumably has no business thinking in one can count on the thought police being right there to round one up.  

    When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

    by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:16:18 PM PDT

    •  [snark] (0+ / 0-)

      if it wasn't obvious

      When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even. -Percy Bysshe

      by Cat4everrr on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 01:17:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At the same time ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... whenever somebody puts something out for mainstream media consumption relying on the gullability of the mainstream media, there will be those people who actually know what they are talking about on the internet who will crack open the pages and see if the numbers behind the glossy pictures add up.

      Demanding that the numbers in a cost estimate add up is not being thought police. Its called analysis.

      Its odd that as energetically as Jack M defends Elon Musk's proposal, he is not actually willing to directly address the points made by the critics.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 02:19:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This diary has taught me a lot. (0+ / 0-)

    High Speed Rail is apparently the enemy of new ideas and new technology.

    High Speed Rail causes people to be unwilling to acknowledge the advantanges of a competing proposal.

    High Speed Rail inspires comments like 'why stop at hyperloop, just use Star Trek transporters'.

    High Speed Rail is a headwind in opposition to progress in this country.

    This is a reversal to what I used to believe.

    But people who are unwilling to even talk about the physical advantages of using an enclosed, partially evacuated conduit, linear motors and air bearings in a transportation system because it threatens their preconceived notions are the only true reasons I see that we can't embark on a journey where the US develops a transport system superior to high speed, steel on steel, rail.

    I've got absolutely no connection to Elon Musk.

    •  So the sequence is this ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      (1) Elon Musk proposes a new, untried, but potentially very energy efficient, high speed, point to point transport system.

      (2) Instead of presenting it as such, he presents it as an answer to his disappointments with the California HSR, some of it justified, some of it betraying a lack of understanding why HSR works so effectively in so many parts of the world.

      (3) As part of that process, he presents cost estimates which are full of holes.

      (4) An advocate of sustainable transport and energy claims that his cost estimates are full of shit.

      (5) Now you are against HSR.

      Is that a fair summary?

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:06:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My problems with HSR. (0+ / 0-)

    I look forward to a Hyperloop prototype being built at some point.

    My problems with High Speed Rail (the Amtrak Acela) on the Northeast Corridor are that it's neither cost nor time competitive.  

    When visiting family in New Jersey and Maryland I've wanted to take the train, but it's just not feasible.  It takes longer and is more expensive than flying.  It takes longer and is more expensive than driving.

    Of course, the Acela is hamstrung by crappy infrastructure and being lower priority than freight.

    •  Per NE2 ... its crappy infrastructure ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aseth

      ... backward looking stakeholders, made worse, at the moment, by an ideologically anti-rail Congress.

      Its not lower priority than freight ... neither pro forma nor de facto.

      The lower priority than freight is when Amtrak gets off the NEC. They have pro forma priority, but no effective means of enforcing it, so they are largely at the corridor owner's mercy when it comes to a conflict with a freight train movement.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:10:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Acela is not lower priority than freight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruceMcF

    Freight has narrow windows on the Northeast Corridor. Where Acela does have problems is between New Haven and NYC, where Metro-North controls the line.

    My problem with Acela is that it's essentially a 1%er mode, with ticket prices high and all these "perks" that I wouldn't end up using (thrown in with a few that are good, like decent legroom). I guess that's all they have room for with the current capacity restrictions.

    warning: snark above

    by NE2 on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 08:54:58 AM PDT

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