Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc
Los Angeles
By: JumpStarter Inc


The Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart. Around that inflection point, I suspect that supersonic air travel ends up being faster and cheaper. With a high enough altitude and the right geometry, the sonic boom noise on the ground would be no louder than current airliners, so that isn’t a showstopper. Also, a quiet supersonic plane immediately solves every long distance city pair without the need for a vast new worldwide infrastructure.

However, for a sub several hundred mile journey, having a supersonic plane is rather pointless, as you would spend almost all your time slowly ascending and descending and very little time at cruise speed. In order to go fast, you need to be at high altitude where the air density drops exponentially, as air at sea level becomes as thick as molasses (not literally, but you get the picture) as you approach sonic velocity.


Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome, the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment. 

At one extreme of the potential solutions is some enlarged version of the old pneumatic tubes used to send mail and packages within and between buildings. You could, in principle, use very powerful fans to push air at high speed through a tube and propel people-sized pods all the way from LA to San Francisco. However, the friction of a 350 mile long column of air moving at anywhere near sonic velocity against the inside of the tube is so stupendously high that this is impossible for all practical purposes.

Another extreme is the approach, advocated by Rand and ET3, of drawing a hard or near hard vacuum in the tube and then using an electromagnetic suspension. The problem with this approach is that it is incredibly hard to maintain a near vacuum in a room, let alone 700 miles (round trip) of large tube with dozens of station gateways and thousands of pods entering and exiting every day. All it takes is one leaky seal or a small crack somewhere in the hundreds of miles of tube and the whole system stops working.

However, a low pressure (vs. almost no pressure) system set to a level where standard commercial pumps could easily overcome an air leak and the transport pods could handle variable air density would be inherently robust. Unfortunately, this means that there is a non-trivial amount of air in the tube and leads us straight into another problem. 


The interior of the capsule is specifically designed with passenger safety and comfort in mind. The seats conform well to the body to maintain comfort during the high speed accelerations experienced during travel. Beautiful landscape will be displayed in the cabin and each passenger will have access their own personal entertainment system.

The Hyperloop passenger capsule (Figure 8 and Figure 9) overall interior weight is expected to be near 5,500 lb (2,500 kg) including the seats, restraint systems, interior and door panels, luggage compartments, and entertainment.


The geometry of the tube depends on the choice of either the passenger version of Hyperloop or the passenger plus vehicles version of Hyperloop.

In either case, if the speed of the air passing through the gaps accelerates to supersonic velocities, then shock waves form. These waves limit how much air can actually get out of the way of the capsule, building up a column of air in front of its nose and increasing drag until the air pressure builds up significantly in front of the capsule. With the increased drag and additional mass of air to push, the power requirements for the capsule increase significantly. It is therefore very important to avoid shock wave formation around the capsule by careful selection of the capsule/tube area ratio. This ensures sufficient mass air flow around and through the capsule at all operating speeds. Any air that cannot pass around the annulus between the capsule and tube is bypassed using the onboard compressor in each capsule.

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Created on 10/31/2013
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John Melzer

2:54AM on Nov 1 2013

Idea: Build 3D printers that only print Hyperloop tubes.

Greg Van Dyk

10:48PM on Oct 31 2013

Thinking about the possible locations, the LA to SF leg sounds reasonable, but I'm not convinced the lawsuit road blocks will allow the deployment in a reasonable amount of time. The Hyperloop has captured the imagination of the public but that will be fleeting. It's a race against time to build a prototype and then a commercially deployed version before opinion turns against it. I would suggest the first leg to be in the Midwest where the topology and political issues are less along with low costs of land acquisition. The eventual profits will be less than the coasts but we need to keep the public inspired and get the die hards to get a ride in the next couple years. Investors will be easier to find when they can actually see and ride a commercially deployed system.

James Merritt

7:49PM on Oct 31 2013

Hyperloop will have first/last mile issues, and I am wondering if any thought has been given to trying to address them in parallel with the establishment of the Hyperloop system itself. It seems to me that Personal Rapid Transit systems could serve the local areas of towns that have Hyperloop stations.

andrew dreaming

5:15PM on Oct 21 2013

2500 km test track in Australia. test water transfer with same pipe. Mamagirl (proposed)
I think a complete package.
Have a great day

Paul Neuhausen

3:48PM on Oct 18 2013

After some discussion with the Jump Start Fund people, it is clear to me that I am supporting the Hyperloop model as proposed by Elon Musk listed above (Los Angeles to San Francisco). To this end, I have contacts within the Electric Vehicle community, pertinent politicians as well as various project-related-specific manufacturers who I have apprised of this specific project and its scope and they are in full support of it. As a native Southern Californian, I look forward to working with the Elon-Musk-LA-SF-Hyperloop teams to make this happen as an antidote to the Carbon Culture that I live and function within on a daily basis in Southern California. I drive a Nissan Leaf, attended National Plug-In Day 2013 in Long Beach, and am ready to win! I have strong contacts with Bonnie Lowenthal's office (Entitlement/Right-Of-Way) and Bombardier in Quebec (Annulus) Onward with the Hyperloop!

peter nilsen

5:17AM on Oct 16 2013

As an example of a forum with discreet ideas posted for discussion, see the project I have been leading. It is an award-winning climate action plan for the Municipality of North Cowichan in British Columbia, Canada, but the moderated forum concept is the same and would benefit the Hyperloop project in this general area of the Jumpstartfund platform where people are posting ideas for new locations and routes for the Hyperloop.
http://ncclimateaction.ideascale.com/ or search North Cowichan Ideascale.
With multiple ideas for locations emerging, each route has the potential to connect with discreet funding partners and deserves the opportunity to be explored by the community. Under the Ideascale framework a new location or Hyperloop route can be posted as a discreet idea. This can then generate detailed commentary about that route, including highlighting specific technological demands and market information, and can potentially lead to a connection with a funding partner for that route in order to take route selection to the next level. This will in turn lead to increased Hyperloop technology market demand and may lead to increased investor support for the technology and seed funding for beta-level technology development.
Perhaps Jumpstartfund can create an Ideascale-type forum or create an Ideascale account that can be logged into for posting and commenting on discreet Hyperloop routes. So far I have read about Hyperloops connecting Los Angeles-San Francisco-San Diego-Sacramento-Las Vegas; Dallas-Houston-San Antonio; Washington DC-Baltimore; Grand Central Station – JFK Airport in New York; and Beijing-Shanghai. Each of these deserves an idea platform of its own, and many others will as well. It is highly likely that a shorter distance, lower speed Hyperloop will emerge alongside a high-speed long distance Hyperloop, so all ideas are welcome. This parallels the development of maglev technology, where short distance lines have led to longer ones over time.

Dennis Levy

11:19PM on Oct 15 2013

Is there is a need for a variety of payload configurations. One possibility is to design the payload portion of the capsule as a removable cartridge. The remainder of the capsule contains all the expensive delicate parts (motors, turbines, batteries, electronics, suspension, etc).
Also important to notice that the hyperloop-alpha.pdf abstract quotes a baseline of 40 capsules (or 50 capsules for larger diameter option). But if the departure time is 30 secs and the travelling time is 35 mins then obviously there can be 70 capsules travelling in the tube at one time.
More capsules will be needed than this because it will take time to load and check the payload, seal and pressure test before launch. The baseline proposal quotes 3 capsules being loaded & unloaded at any one time. This is obviously less than what one would really want in practice.
In addition to this, at a price of $20 per ticket this capacity will probably not meet the demand so designers must do what is necessary to reduce the 30 second spacing between launches. There definitely will be a congestion problem that has to be solved. The payload will have to be moved in & out very efficiently, and the solution will probably resemble a canning factory, complete with QA check (excuse my analogy, but it is essential that this process is extremely efficient).
So, what does this mean regarding the cost of capsules? Almost nothing because from tables 8 & 9 almost all the cost of the system is in the pylons and land. These costs can easily be justified by maximizing overall capacity rather than by reducing the cost of capsules.

Dennis Levy

4:39AM on Oct 14 2013

Australia also needs Hyperloop - their Sydney airport has serious capacity problems and their High Speed Rail proposal is far too expensive. Truth is Hyperloop would compete with airlines for moving passengers, while rail is better for freight. A good time to push for some Australian funding.

Douglas Nock

5:28PM on Oct 11 2013

I am responding here because it appears this group is taking the lead on potential markets. I realize CA is the planned pilot site. However, I would suggest that Baltimore - DC would be a promising launch site, which has the ability to scale. I can give you 5 reasons why I think this site could be successful. 1. Federal, Local and City Support - Barbara Mikulski - is Senate Appropriations Chair and MD Senator, Governor O'Malley and City Mayor would most likely support investment. Biden may be supportive with his roots in DE. 2. Redevelopment of Sparrows Point - could serve as site for hyperloop hub, power generation. There is already discussion about redeveloping for a brand new port and terminal for cargo shipping, with federal dollars 3. New Bay Bridge - could serve as conduit for expanded service to new Northeast destinations. New bridge could span from sparrows point to across the bay, built with two decks (car traffic, hyperloop). 4. Redevelopment of East Baltimore - DC housing is expensive. Baltimore has lower cost of living. Baltimore could attract DC workers with a 10-15 min hyperloop commute. Developers in Baltimore may be willing to invest in hyperloop infrastructure. 5. Hyperloop could offer another alternative to reduce commuting times and pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Area. The concept would resonate well with the general population

leonid kozhukh

8:53PM on Oct 9 2013

hyperloop on github with new considerations:

Jack Shultz

7:56PM on Oct 8 2013

How about hyperloop from Grand Central Station to JFK? I live in Manhattan and dread this commute every time.

Adrian Millward

8:48AM on Oct 7 2013

I am a retired English chartered Civil Engineer also with experience of Advanced technologies in Aerospace, including use of new materials and compressor efficiency improvements.
I believe that the steel tube model can be further refined once a working prototype has been created to demonstrate the viability of the approach.
HM Government in UK is about to embark on a £50b new high speed rail network in the UK which we desparately need, but I too wonder if a more radical solution, such as hyperloop technology is required, hence my interest.

Laith Younis

2:12AM on Oct 7 2013

Hi everyone, Im Interested in being involved in the hyperloop project. My background is telecommunications, energy solutions and warehouse logistics. I am a fan of the idea, live in California, and would love to offer my services as much as possible. How can I help?

Tony Rusi

11:21PM on Oct 6 2013

The California Rail project has been stopped. How can we get the Hyperloop turned on instead?

Andrew Law

4:57PM on Oct 2 2013

If every US federal tax payer (lets say 100 million people) would realize that they are going to be forced to pay $120 to build a railway in California (about $12 billion of federal funds), we could see millions of people contributing $100 to fund the hyperloop.

Mark Hoheisel

1:50AM on Sep 28 2013

It might be useful, especially for projects this large to have a discussion space like a linked forum for more informal idea critique, brainstorming, discussion. Forum should be moderated by people approved by the project.