Elon Musk to build test track for super-fast ‘Hyperloop’ train

The Hyperloop will be able to carry people at up to 700 miles per hour, and could eventually carry people from LA to San Francisco

An image of the Hyperloop passenger capsule with doors open at the station
An image of the Hyperloop passenger capsule with doors open at the station

Elon Musk hopes to build a test track for his super-faster Hyperloop train in Texas, in a move that brings the sometimes mocked idea a little closer to reality.

He tweeted yesterday that he would build the Hyperloop test track, most likely in Texas.

It will allow companies and student teams to test out the pods for the system, he said. The Hyperloop uses the pods to travel around the track — and though the idea was sketched out by Musk, he has said that he hopes that other groups contribute towards the research and work of building it.

The idea involves sending the pods through tubes on a cushion of air. That would allow it to travel at high speed, with a theoretical top speed of 760 mph.

He told the Texas Tribune that the test track would be a loop of about five miles long and that Texas was the leading candidate to host it.

The facility would be privately funded, he said.

Musk hopes to build the track between Los Angeles and San Francisco, cutting the normally hours long journey down to 35 minutes.

The idea is currently being worked on by a research company called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which uses crowdsourcing and collaboration to try and bring Musk’s idea together.

Hyperloop capsule in tube cutaway with attached solar arrays

It hopes to complete a technical feasibility study in 2015, it has said, but doesn’t expect the Hyperloop to be in commercial operation for at least another ten years.

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