Hyperloop: The past and futue & Case study in india

If someone says that he/she is working in Mumbai while staying at Chennai, then it will not be any surprise to you once Hyperloop is constructed in India.

·         HYPERLOOP is a high-speed mode of transport in which a pod-like vehicle is accelerated in a tube with the help of reduced pressure and magnetic levitation concepts. It can reach a speed of 760 mph (1200 kmph) with a much lesser ticket costs.
·         This concept of Hyperloop was proposed by Elon Musk, the 21st century’s Innovator, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, back in 2012. In August, 2013 SpaceX published the HYPERLOOP Alpha version and encouraged the engineers and designers all over the world to contribute to HYPERLOOP design process.

image: MIT Hyperloop

II)                 THE PAST
·         Although, HYPERLOOP is an amazing concept, it is not new. As this concept has been around for over 100 years. The first efforts of low pressure tube travel were made in 18th century.
·         In 1799, George Medhurst of London discussed the idea of moving goods pneumatically through cast iron pipes and in 1812, he proposed blowing passenger carriages through a tunnel. But, he never patented his ideas and they were not taken further.
·         Later during 1864, an atmospheric railway was ran in crystal palace park in South London which was called crystal Palace Pneumatic Railway. It was operated for just over 2 months.
·         In 1869, a small Pneumatic subway line was opened by name Beach Pneumatic Transit in New York City and lasted until 1873.
·         After that, early in 1900’s professor Boris Weinberg, a Russian mechanical engineer offered a vactrain (Vacuum Tube Train) concept in the book “Motion without Friction”.
·         Even the rocket scientist, Robert Goddard written about tube travel system in a 1909 issue of Scientific American and also he had worked on several tube train patents.
·         Later on many scientists and Engineers had worked on similar concepts like Gravitrains, Planetran etc

III)               THE PRESENT
·         Coming to the present “HYPERLOOP Technology”, few companies have been formed like HYPERLOOP One and HYPERLOOP transportation Technologies (HTT) to develop and construct the Hyperloop.
·         HYPERLOOP One is currently building DevLoop which is a test track of HYPERLOOP, in Nevada and HYPERLOOP One Global Challenge is a competition conducted by HYPERLOOP One inviting teams around the planet to actualise the potential of the system in different regions. Of 2600 teams, it has finalised 35 teams of which 5 routes are from India.
·         On the other hand, SpaceX held a HYPERLOOP pod Competition at its HYPERLOOP test track “HYPERTUBE” which is approximately 1 mile in length at its Headquarters in California. It is to help accelerate the development of functional prototypes. Of 27 teams which brought their HYPERLOOP Pods, 3 were selected and tested which are made by teams from MIT, Delft University, and Technical University of Munich.

IV)               THE FUTURE
·         So, the question is……Is HYPERLOOP the future of transportation?
·         If we consider a country like India, there is a great need for such low-cost, High-Speed Transit system. Considering all circumstances like the HYPERLOOP was still in testing and designing stage, letting it to develop and implement completely and in a country like India, where almost every major project faces problems like Land Acquisitions, Delays etc., also considering the difficulties faced to construct the tube system by accounting safety and speed, it is better to improve existing infrastructure of Indian transportation like Indian Railways, which is one of the largest railway networks carrying about 8.5 billion passengers annually.
image: CS

So, despite its advantages of Super speeds and lower costs of travel, it is better to concentrate on improving existing infrastructure in a country like India for time being until the HYPERLOOP is fully designed, tested and implemented. Let us hope very soon HYPERLOOP will take shape and revolutionize the way we travel.

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