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Hyperloop vs. HSR

Original post made by Wheeee...., Crescent Park, on Aug 12, 2013

Web Link

The future vs. the past? Come on California, if you're going to invest that sort of money in an infrastructure project, be imaginative!

Comments (33)

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Posted by think outside the Railroad
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:07 am

I agree, lets come up with some truly creative ideas for public transportation instead of a train to nowhere that will never get finished because it requires private investments and no one except government is dumb enough to invest in a project that will never be self-supporting.


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Posted by snore
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

/snore

Don't build infrastructure, it costs money! It's never done right, and it stinks! So what if the rest of the world is upgrading their country to be competitive in the 21st century, we can keep using highways and planes! It will be years before the rest of those countries will pass the US economically, and I'll be dead and gone - it's the next generation's problem! Those ungrateful kids want us to build everything for them!

Or.... we can rebuild America.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Are there any drawbacks to this Hyperloop idea ... from what I heard of it, it sounded doable, cheaper, lighter, QUIETER, safer and an all around better idea than HSR.


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Posted by breathe deep and hold
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Whaaaa?!?!?!?!?

Anti-HSR posters that don't think the government can do anything right, now they want to do some unproven dream system?!?!!??

Did you actually read the link? Great pdf, well done and all, but...

From the hyperloop guy's blog about all these dream systems: "Unfortunately, none of these have panned out. As things stand today, there is not even a short distance demonstration system operating in test pilot mode anywhere in the world, let alone something that is robust enough for public transit. They all possess, it would seem, one or more fatal flaws that prevent them from coming to fruition."

Hey, I'm all for a little daydreaming fantasy, but geez, put the bong down.


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Posted by member
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm

The Hyperloop is featured in today's SF Chronicle. Elon Musk is on the money and has proven products - Tesla Auto and Space X. What he is saying makes sense since it is built on existing dedicated transportation routes. HSR is trying to build their product on new purchased land that will be subject to a number of law suits - thus the inflated budget which is not dedicated to the actual product.
This is the best idea yet. We need to be open to better, more scientifically superior ideas that cost less money and use existing dedicated routes. Also, the long term support for the system will be less - saving future budget in the out years.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Great idea. This may not work, but it may and it may inspire other innovations too. The first few times people tried to build aircraft, there were some failures, but in the end it worked.

We need some forward thinking in the 21st century. There will be new innovations but not all will succeed. Without the effort there won't be the failed ideas that eventually provide the next great idea that does work.


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Posted by Vasche LaMou
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Straight from an exhibit at Disneyland's Tomorrowland, ca. 1956.

Easy to conceive. Now deliver.


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Posted by LaMoose Alaska
a resident of South of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2013 at 12:23 am

"This may not work"

"Straight from an exhibit at Disneyland"

"Elon Musk is on the money and has proven products" that allow him to float absurd ideas! Are all the folks who think is a good idea on record as supporting the federal govt bailout of Tesla? Show me your post.

"The first few times people tried ... there were some failures, but in the end..."

Yes, let California be the failure that allows someone else to succeed. You are something else.


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Posted by Hey
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm

If it could actually be built for the price specified it would be just a fraction of the cost overun that we will expect from HSR. I think the low cost fuigure for the hyperloop assumes that it will run in the Interstate 5 corridor on (or above) land already owned by the state. So no cost for land aquisition


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Posted by forgot org name
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:50 am

"If it could...."

What the??? "If"???

*IF* aliens landed and shared their new technology for the Starship Enterprise style transporter beam, why golly, HSR could be abandoned!

*IF* I had a million... Web Link

already posted, please READ IT this time "Unfortunately, none of these have panned out. As things stand today, there is not even a short distance demonstration system operating in test pilot mode anywhere in the world, let alone something that is robust enough for public transit. They all possess, it would seem, one or more fatal flaws that prevent them from coming to fruition."

Between fantasy hyperloop and HSR - give me the conservative, real-world-proven, voter approved choice: HSR


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Posted by member
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 15, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Regarding the budget for the HSR and current plan to start it in the Central Valley - consider the possibility that part of the budget is to buy water rights. At this time the Central Valley farmers have a law suit against providing some water to the fish in Oregon / Northern California. The Central Valley water contracts are selling water rights to many people - is this law suit relative to an infringement on the selling of water rights versus actual farming? This has turned into a very murky situation. With the Hyper-loop you are building on existing transportation routes so the budget allocated is specific to the actual vehicle and depots. That is a massive savings. Comments above of the tried and true HSR - have yet to see it. If the work on the bay bridge is any indicator then the powers to be cannot right specifications and build a train within a budget.


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Posted by Elon who?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

@member: Tesla a proven product???? Do you own a Tesla? I do, and it is IN the shop more than it is OUT of the shop. That is NOT a proven product in my book. I stupidly thought that by now they would have the bugs worked out, but NOOOOOO!

Also, Elon Musk is not only a deadbeat Dad of six children, but he claims he singlehandedly started Paypal and EBay. He may have helped, or co-founded, but many people would hotly contest that he did not do so singlehandedly!


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Posted by forgot org name
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

"With the Hyper-loop you are building on"

NO YOU ARE NOT. It doesn't exist. Tell me where I can ride one outside of Disneyland.

"Comments above of the tried and true HSR - have yet to see it."

Yes, correct, America is behind the rest of the world in high speed transportation. "Since 1964 many countries in addition to Japan have developed high-speed rail to connect major cities (e.g. China, France, Germany, Italy, ROC (Taiwan), Turkey, South Korea and Spain)."

1964!!!!

Want America's infrastructure to be third world? (more third world than it is, with our crumbling infrastructure?) Or have the same guys who managed the Bay Bridge to manage a first ever fantasy train, with plans approved by Mickey Mouse and the imagineers?

Hyperloop is a propeller cap blog, with no offense to propeller heads, of course. idea. Web Link Fantasize all you want. They're fun. But it's absurd to use this as anything other than a daydream.


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Posted by member
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 15, 2013 at 1:27 pm

The HSR is its original conception was a good idea. It has subsequently increased its budget to cover many questionable activities and involved land purchase and lease schemes. The regional approach is masking problems down the road for the whole system. It is being used as the support for the ABAG effort for increased housing on transportation routes. Current activities concerning transportation, including the bay bridge with faulty specifications; BART transportation fouled by strikes for unrealistic wage and benefits; SF bus trying to strike; etc. indicate a lack of management and over-site. Gov. Brown has lost control of this whole activity which is a state-wide activity - not regional. Go to LA - they have good Metro-Link system, good subway; yes a lot of cars but the infrastructure is there. HSR is fouling its nest. The hyperloop is doable for a fraction of the cost.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

>> Anti-HSR posters that don't think the government can do anything right, now they want to do some unproven dream system?!?!!??

That is a mistake, at least with me.

I think this has nothing to do with the government being able to do anything right or not, although lately it has not looked too good for government ... BUT, a few readings of the HSR happenings and news seem to indicate HSR is being forced on people in a very inconsiderate, and perhaps impossible, or impossibly expensive way.

For example, it's pretty clear that a high speed rail running alongside Alma would mean major changes to all of Palo Alto. I don't think it's too hard to speculate whether those changes would be good or bad as regards the community. Vibration, massive changes in the road, houses, and dense infrastructure.

I was asking about the HyperLoop because it seems like it is supposed to be quieter, less expensive, cost effective, and could be built above existing infrastructure. I kind of imagined it like the monorail in that movie Fahrenheit 451, where pylons create a double-tube, or maybe it could be multi-plexed in either direction on a single tube for some length near large metropolitan locations, or even inbound taking one route and outbound taking another.

But ... what do we know about it at this point, and how fast could a experimental system be tested?


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Posted by forgot org name
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Let's take the 500 million Tesla paid back and run an experiment?


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Posted by member
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 15, 2013 at 3:05 pm

The HSR was conceived as a state-wide system connecting the major destination points - Sacramento; SF; LA; San Diego. Those transportation routes already exist. Trying to funnel this through a non-populated section of Bakersfield / Merced is the first sign of a problem. The theory that you are going to funnel this down Alma Street is the next sign of a problem. We have I-5, 101,280; etc. - already there - that is where is should be going. We have dedicated routes already established. We can establish infrastructure on those routes to accommodate HSR. There is no need for this to go down Alma - that was a scheme to electrify Caltrans. Better you buy some upgraded engines that are more efficient.

There is some strange compulsion to spend money here and take over land. This is out of control.

Also comparison to Europe - I was there in June - Air Controller strike in Paris/Western Europe due to 50 year old air controller system; baggage handler strikes in Paris; alternate transportation on trains which had cautionary ridership for international travelers - only during certain hours, etc. Europe is in strike mode everywhere you look as to transportation - get the system while the tourist trade is high - also more scrutiny for population mix with tendencies to unravel.
Also want to note that the Metro-link in LA area has huge impact on buildings in area - if you are in hotel to be convenient to it then you could be up all night


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Posted by Strider
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Aug 15, 2013 at 4:59 pm

So member is now off topic and where she wants to be - trashing HSR.
Strident, aren't they.

I agree with the others. Hyperloop is a fantasy. Let China develop it, do it and own it. We do other technologies better.


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Posted by Vasche LaMou
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

"Yes, let California be the failure that allows someone else to succeed. You are something else."

Yes, I am. You could be, too. Stop whining about whining and start bending some metal.


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Posted by forgot org name
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 16, 2013 at 9:36 am

Whining is what the losing side of HSR does. Near constant, of course.

To support the absurd notion of California investing in something that doesn't exist outside of theme parks and a blog is ridiculous.

Give us examples of viable hyperloop public mass transit projects.

Anyone? Bueller?


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Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Some posters seem to be overlooking something about the Hyperloop. It's a new system done almost entirely with existing technology. It's a new system proposed to be executed in a relatively conservative way. It is susceptible to computer aided design and simulation and a good start on that has apparently been done.

The HST won't be fully operating until 2029 and not likely then. It will cost more than the current 60-some billion projection and require perpetual subsidy. But it will be a relic the day it opens. SF and LA are more than 400 miles apart, too far for the HST's obsolescent technology which is too slow. The tech would be fine for the Washington/Philadelphia/New York/Boston run if it could be built in a timely way. Nothing can be built in California in a timely way or anywhere near a projected cost and so infrastructure has to be public construction. Of course that would be true of the Hyperloop too, but such increases still leave it at a fifth to a quarter of the HST's costs leaving a useful system, likely self supporting, and with a longer viable operating life.

The proposed Hyperloop system solves the problems if further work shows it to be as practical as it presently appears. It apparently does rather less pioneering in than the boondoggle Bay Bridge project did. In other words, it is doable. It looks like something that would actually work and can be executed. That's called engineering. Constructing it mostly on pylons and on I-5 also solves the right of way problems and politics that may still leave most of the HST sitting uselessly in the desert for many years.

-------------------------
OT: Many, not all, environmentalists really need to be placed correctly on the far right of the political spectrum also. We can't presently have even coherent arguments most of the time even with so many points of agreement. It's possible that California is simply too large and fractious.

HST, if I understand this properly, will be older German technology by way of China. Politically there is no chance that it could be built in Washington DC by companies with numbers of workers from there. Imagine the joke around the world of an East Coast contract that stipulated that no Chinese characters appear on the outside of construction trailers? They should build it anyway and with no such stipulations.


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Posted by forgot org name
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

Continue to wait: "To support the absurd notion of California investing in something that doesn't exist outside of theme parks and a blog is ridiculous.

Give us examples of viable hyperloop public mass transit projects.

Anyone? Bueller?"


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Posted by Wheeee....
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

"Give us examples of viable hyperloop public mass transit projects."

Doing something that hasn't been done before - that's the essence of Silicon Valley.

It's amusing you're choosing "Anyone? Bueller?" as your persona. Staid; old school; no imagination. Yeah, pretty much sums up HSR.


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Posted by George Jetson
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

So no one can find a proven model of any sort for hyperloop, yet they trash someone for using a classic reference: "Bueller?"

Ha!

Look at Salon today, espousing the fantastic hyperloop. They talk about it for a couple sentences and then spend the entire article on charge strips built into highways. 'Old school' highways with a charge strip: is that what @wheee calls imagination?

Yeah, a science fair project hyperloop is what I want the State of California pouring billions into!!

"This may sound as far-fetched as Musk's science fair project, but it has been a long time coming: engineers from Utah to Utrecht have been closing in on efficient inductive charging for vehicles for more than a decade. Since 2010, KAIST has installed electric roads on the university's two campuses and in the Seoul Grand Park. The Canadian company Bombardier developed a similar system, called Primove, which has been tested on an 800-yard stretch of tram line in Augsburg blah blah blah."

So even a pro-hyperloop article calls it "Musk's science fair project"

I'm with @forgotorgname: name a working model of hyperloop before you suggest dumping tax dollars down that rathole. I'm still waiting for the miracle of fusion that this type of group was hyping in the 70's. Look how billions were spent on that pipedream (and still are.)

Now you want the Jetsons?

"Bueller?"


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Posted by George Jetson
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

for those youngsters not familiar:

"Those with a long memory will recall the very early optimism about fusion energy that existed in the late 1950s and 1960s. On the heels of the quick success in moving fission energy forward, it was thought practical fusion would follow closely behind. Instead, the world's scientists ran into an unexpected barrier — the immense physics complexity and seeming impossibility of taming fusion plasmas."


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Posted by Wheeee....
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

So far you're argument's come down to "no one's done it before, therefore we shouldn't try".

Stick to your golden age of 60's, 70's and 80's references and let those with imagination and courage change the world.


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Posted by George Jetson
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm

"no one's done it before, therefore we shouldn't try".

Close but you left out a few words.

lmftfy: "no one's done it before, AND AS NO ONE HAS EVER PROVED IT FEASIBLE, therefore we shouldn't try TO HAVE THE STATE GOVERNMENT LEAD THE WAY".

Once again, show us who has proven the feasibility.

From the original blogpost that has you so excited: "Unfortunately, none of these have panned out. As things stand today, there is not even a short distance demonstration system operating in test pilot mode anywhere in the world, let alone something that is robust enough for public transit. They all possess, it would seem, one or more fatal flaws that prevent them from coming to fruition."

thanks for sharing the dream; my final post, rock on, Ferris.


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Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2013 at 6:49 pm

@jetson - From my last post "The proposed Hyperloop system solves the problems if further work shows it to be as practical as it presently appears. It apparently does rather less pioneering than the boondoggle Bay Bridge project did. In other words, it is doable. It looks like something that would actually work and can be executed. That's called engineering. Constructing it mostly on pylons and on I-5 also solves the right of way problems and politics that may still leave most of the HST sitting uselessly in the desert for many years."

No one proposes building the full blown Hyperloop system starting tomorrow morning. Obviously it needs more work including simulation and demo's. But it's more promising than the HST, supposedly SF to LA in 2029 (!). IMO, there is high risk of ending up with nothing or not much useful from the HST partly because of the extreme fractiousness and expense of building anything at all in California.

Fusion power requires invention every single step of the way including physics and materials. Fusion power is a sort of ultimate science fair project if you have to put it that way. It's some polar opposite of the practical engineering and proposal for the Hyperloop. It appears that there is some work ongoing on the system and perhaps it could get more funding through crowd sourcing or VC's. One difficulty is that there is little private market for infrastructure in the US, especially California. IMO, Musk should develop the system, then export the IP. you can buy a plane ticket if you want a ride. probably in your lifetime. Try that on the HST.


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Posted by tuna
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

hyperloop might be real someday "if further work shows it to be as practical as it presently appears"

Sounds like the 80's: Fusion is right around the corner this time "if further work shows it to be as practical as it presently appears"

Have to use a lot of qualifiers when imagining something out of a blog, dontcha?


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Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

@tuna - Comparing the Hyperloop to fusion power is a non-starter, it's irrelevant. When a commercial building is constructed in PA or MV, it's seldom that any pioneering engineering is done at all. Whatever the building's design it is using standard tech and modules of various kinds. The tech of the building methods and machinery is stock.

The Hyperloop isn't completely standard to that degree but does not implement its new system with utterly new technology. No one proposes building the full scale version tomorrow morning either. Clearly you have not read the proposal. It is a 58 page pdf doc on the SpaceX site Web Link . I think it's on the Tesla site as well. It's a relatively quick read and includes the LA-SF route in marked up Google Earth photos and a lot of graphics to convey the concepts. If someone hasn't read it, their criticisms are of no interest. Comparisons with fusion power are off the table and show that someone need work to understand either one.

Not being the least informed on issues is a privilege we all have. But at the same time no one should expect that they are entitled to freeze the world around them as it was when they were 30-35.

If you don't like the idea of a Hyperloop in your back yard, just wait for the HST if it arrives in our lifetime. 2029 is as optimistic as $60-some billion in constant dollars. The HST - if it's built - will be a technology museum, like one of the ex-logging railways in the woods near Santa Cruz. But of course, much, much more expensive, subsidized, noisy, and running like a huge wall right through the Peninsula. People will only be grateful that it won't shed coal dust all over the place too.


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Posted by friend o George
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

let me fix that for you, since GJ doesn't appear to be around

"Comparing the Hyperloop to ANYTHING REAL is a non-starter, HYPERLOOP's irrelevant."

It's a blog. Get over it.


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Posted by maguro_01
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 29, 2013 at 9:04 pm

@friend, Hyperloop - Web Link . If you can't read it you can't discuss it in an informed way one way or another. Do you think electric toothbrushes are Rocket Science?


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Posted by blogger so lg
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:50 am

"If you can't read it you can't discuss it in an informed way one way or another" Want us to read another blog?

Make it easy for us uneducated po common folk... list the commercially viable hyperloop installations world wide.

Make it easy on yourself: just list the first ten.

Maybe the top five?

List ONE commercially viable installation?

And you want the Bay Bridge builders inventing this crap on the fly?

Geez....


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