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Author Topic: Virgin Hyperloop - first journey with passengers  (Read 1026 times)
grahame
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« on: November 09, 2020, 05:29:34 am »

From the BBC

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Virgin Hyperloop has trialled its first ever journey with passengers, in the desert of Nevada.

The futuristic transport concept involves pods inside vacuum tubes carrying passengers at high speeds.

In the trial two passengers - both company staff - travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 107mph (172km/h).

However this is a fraction of Virgin's ambitions for travel speeds of more than 1,000km/h.

Virgin Hyperloop is not the only firm developing the concept but nobody has carried passengers before.

Sara Luchian, director of customer experience, was one of the two on board and described the experience as "exhilarating both psychologically and physically" to the BBC shortly after the event.

Astonishingly, no thread that I can find that's specific to Hyperloop - just a few passing references.  So I have started this.   Is Hyperloop really a "railway" subject? ....
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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2020, 11:40:30 am »

I am very doubtfull indeed about this.
The passenger carying pods will run in a tube containing vaccuum, and will therefore need to be pressure tight and carry a reserve of air, and means of removing carbon dioxide, More like a spacecraft than a train. Any failure of the pressurisation will quickly suffocate the passengers.
And how are thousands of miles of vaccuum tube to be kept air tight ? Even a slight imperfection will destroy the vaccuum. Any defect in a tube below water, or below the water table on land will fill the tube with water.
The capsules presumably cant move through water, so everyone suffocates in the sealed capasule, or excapes and drowns.

Very silly idea IMHO.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyN
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2020, 11:55:43 am »

Sounds like something a bloke called Brunel tried in South Devon in the 19th century. That didn't end well ether.
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patch38
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2020, 01:11:14 pm »

I like the highest-rated comment on the BBC article from someone called Supersub:

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After the first 500 metres, there's a replacement bus service.

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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2020, 02:57:11 pm »

Is Hyperloop really a "railway" subject? ....

Maybe not. Anything that's expensive to set up, and has to recover that cost from users, has to find the right price point. There may be more than one viable solution, most likely just two: high cost/low usage and a low cost/high usage. However, the limited pod size, and lack of a "cheap" way of scaling capacity up, may limit usage numbers - or at least provide a barrier to doing that. In that case only the high cost option would exist, and it would be more like a decarbonised business jet. Only for rather short distances, of course.
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Surrey 455
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2020, 08:46:05 pm »

I guess any subsidence or earthquake anywhere along the route is going to put the tubes out of alignment (if not damaged) and out of action for a long time.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2020, 10:42:03 am »

It's sobering to think that 2 rails laid a fixed distance apart  with vehicles with flanged wheels has been around for over 200 years. Whilst Atmospheric, Monorails, Magnetic Levitation, Guided Bus ways, Hyperloops etc. have met with only limited success and have been confined to end to end operations rather than part of a network.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2020, 11:32:24 am »

It's sobering to think that 2 rails laid a fixed distance apart  with vehicles with flanged wheels has been around for over 200 years. Whilst Atmospheric, Monorails, Magnetic Levitation, Guided Bus ways, Hyperloops etc. have met with only limited success and have been confined to end to end operations rather than part of a network.

Yes, but you are being very selective in quoting only those systems that have been very limited. 

As well as paired rails with flanged wheels, there has been some network success for vehicles with tyred wheels running of flat even(ish) surfaces, and for vehicles lighter than water resting on the surface of that water with some displacement beneath, self powered across the water.  There are also vehicles which go very fast and lift into the air using aerofoils  with a whole network of places they can come back down.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2020, 12:41:03 pm »

Take your point Grahame but I was thinking mainly of systems that required the buiding of infrastructure for guidance.
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TonyK
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 02:46:44 pm »

Well, I think it's worth a look. We would need to start small. Parson Street to Bedminster maybe? With WRECA involved, it could be done in as little as 25 years. (Without them, that could be cut to a decade.)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 02:58:19 pm by TonyK » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2020, 01:32:05 pm »

Not the first passenger railway like this ... see the Crystal Palace pneumatic railway
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stuving
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2020, 04:07:03 pm »

Not the first passenger railway like this ... see the Crystal Palace pneumatic railway

What do you mean, "like this"? There is a huge difference between using a vacuum to propel a train outside a tube, and using it to reduce air resistance for a train inside the tube (propelled otherwise). It's like pointing out a steam-hauled train with electric lighting and claiming it's the same as electric traction!
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2020, 04:21:17 pm »

What do you mean, "like this"? There is a huge difference between using a vacuum to propel a train outside a tube, and using it to reduce air resistance for a train inside the tube (propelled otherwise). It's like pointing out a steam-hauled train with electric lighting and claiming it's the same as electric traction!

(?) Not sure - for sure a difference of degree - sucking a bit of air out v sucking most of the air out.  Opposite ends of the same spectrum perhaps? I note on the Beach Pneumatic Transit page

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Related developments

The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway was a similar but longer system which operated in 1864 on the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London.

In 2013, entrepreneur Elon Musk proposed a hyperloop system, which he hoped would one day propel capsules through evacuated tubes at high speeds using magnetic levitation and linear electric motors. This system has not been fully realized
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2020, 08:16:48 pm »

It's 8.7m long, and travelled up and down a 500m track in a desolate wasteland. This has cost their investors $400m.

Should we tell them you can get the same experience in the UK for one pound 40?
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2020, 08:18:37 pm »

It's 8.7m long, and travelled up and down a 500m track in a desolate wasteland. This has cost their investors $400m.

Should we tell them you can get the same experience in the UK for one pound 40?

How did I know which journey you had in mind even before I clicked on the link?  Grin
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