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Transportation of the future, hyperloop system

 

By FLORO MERCENE

 

HYPERLOOP is a new form of ground transport currently in development by a number of companies, which could see pas­sengers travelling at 700 miles (about 1,000 km) an hour in float­ing pods within low-pressured tubes.

The idea of using low pres­sure or vacuum tubes as part of a transport system has a long heritage. The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway used air pres­sure to push a wagon uphill (and a vacuum to drag it back down) way back in Victorian south Lon­don in 1864. Similar system using pneumatic tubes to send mail and packages between buildings have been in use since the late nineteenth century.

One clear predecessor of the Hyperloop is the ‘vactrain’ (vacu­um tube train) concept by Robert Goddard early in the twentieth century. It is, however, entre­preneur Elon Musk who really reignited interest in the concept with his ‘Hyperloop Alpha’ paper in August 2013. And his tunnel­ing startup, the Boring Company is working on its own system in Washington, DC region and Los Angeles.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has created a new plan called “Vi­sion 2030,” which provides a blue­print for modernizing cities across the kingdom. A part of this plan, the country says it hopes to build a Hyperloop, a massive, high-speed pneumatic transit system that would travel between several cities in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. If realized, Saudi Arabia’s Hyperloop would connect several cities in the Middle East, including Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Abu Dhabi. The system would travel two to three times faster than high-speed rail. It would travel at around 700 mph and take pas­sengers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, which is normally a two-hour drive. A trip from Ri­yadh to Jeddah – which currently takes over 10 hours – would last just 76 minutes.

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