News hardware Announced as the transport of the future in France and all over the world, where is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop?
Imagined by Jules Verne in 1889 and theorized by Elon Musk in the summer of 2012, the project for a very very high speed train (around 1500 km/h), better known as the Hyperloop, could ultimately never see the day with us despite several projects under development.
The Hyperloop, an ultra-fast transport project that mobilizes the whole Earth
In 2013, a few months after the release of his first production electric Tesla, the Model S, Elon Musk announced with great fanfare the launch of a reflection around a transport of the future “which opened the field to the development of a magnetic levitation train in a vacuum cylinder”, the Hyperloop (or Hyperl∞p) project was born.
And if he never created a company directly involved in the project, the whimsical Elon Musk multiplied announcements and positions through his companies SpaceX, well known for sending rockets into space, or even The Boring Company, his company specializing in the construction of tunnels and to which we owe this somewhat crazy project of anti-traffic tunnels in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
For the record, this company was born when Elon Musk was stuck in a jam and it was driving him crazy…
Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
If this project has for the moment only a local ambition in the USA, that of the Hyperloop was to really revolutionize transport at the national and international level, so much so that dozens of companies have emerged following the announcements of ‘Elon Musk, like Hyperloop One (supported by Virgin and its billionaire Richard Branson), Hyperloop TT (born from crowdfunding), WARR Hyperloop (a university project) or even Hardt and above all TransPod, a Canadian company with great ambitions for France.
Elon Musk admits the project was actually just a decoy
It must be said that the concept of the Hyperloop has something to seduce, thanks to electromagnetic propulsion, capsules then move under vacuum in tubes at the mind-blowing speed of 1500 km/h, relegating our good old TGV to the rank of steam engine.
And if everyone is considering the question, it means that the project is really viable. Elon Musk, through his company SpaceX, even regularly carries out trials and competitions to see how it all evolves, without however getting personally involved in development.
France, which is considered one of the pioneers in terms of high-speed trains (after Japan), was quickly chosen to be among the first countries to host tests as well asa future Hyperloop line that can connect Paris to Marseille in just 40 minutes, compared to 3h25 currently by TGV.
Among the other lines mentioned, one was to connect Toulouse to Montpellier in 20 minutes, Lyon to Saint Etienne in 10 minutes or evenfrom St Charles station in Marseille to the airport in just 72 seconds.
Unfortunately, all current projects seem to be at a standstill, Hyperloop One said it is now solely focused on transporting goods, Hyperloop TT has abandoned construction of its new one-kilometre test track and must make do with the current 320 meters, as for TransPod, all projects in the south of France are also at a standstill, even if tests are still in progress near Limoges on a small track.
It must be said that the recent statements by Elon Musk, who confessed that he never intended to build the Hyperloop but just to slow down the construction of a public TGV line in Californiacoupled with the Covid and the lack of significant progress, have cast a chill over potential investors…
Finally Jules Vernes, who aimed for the horizon 2889 in his story “The day of an American journalist in 2889, was perhaps not so far from the truth…