Raleigh Hyperloop

Saw this article and because it’s Business Journal I cant view it, but thought this is a good topic for discussion.


LOL. The triangle can’t even do light rail without the project derailing (pun intended). Barely can support BRT. But we’re gonna pull off a hyperloop.


This was reported over in future of transit.

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Funny thing is, I would likely bet on the hyperloop to be done first.


Ah the hyperloop. Gotto love it when billionaires invent expensive, less efficient versions of things that already exist.


That article is just saying that North Carolina formally showed it’s interested in having test tracks + potential hyperloop routes.

Sure, that’s cool and all, but… what’s the point???

Forget political or incompetency problems (since, unlike light rail, GoTriangle doesn’t have its hands on this); I mean like what does the hyperloop offer North Carolina that existing rail can’t? The road to high(er)-speed rail from Raleigh to DC is inching closer to reality. That project already has most of the right-of-way acquired (unlike the California bullet train), and it already went through the entire environmental/feasibility study pipeline.

Virgin Hyperloop has to do all of that work for itself before it can even think about breaking ground. To be fair, it may not take two decades because it doesn’t have to abide by federal funding rules, but that’s still a lot of redundant work and wasted money.

And what do you get in return? A cool-lookin’, but untested pneumatic tube that may or may not be super-uncomfortable to use that’s barely faster* than existing rail. This trade-off may be worth it in the Midwest or Kansas (where their commute patterns are more decentralized and preserving freight rail is a critical thing to their economies), but I haven’t heard any good arguments about how this makes sense here in NC.

in re @RobertB's post

once you factor in the time to get to a hyperloop station(?), go through security (they haven’t announced it yet, but I would imagine that security procedures for being locked in a cramped, supersonic capsule with other strangers would look more like an airport’s TSA area), and de/re-pressurize before you enter the vacuum tubes. Of course, it might not turn out this way, but given all the unknowns we have now and what people could get worried about in the near future, I’m having a hard time thinking these are unrealistic things to worry about.


Barely fater than existing rail? I wasn’t aware the speeds Hyper-loop was testing at was 80mph…


Ah, thanks for pointing that out. I edited my post and clarified what I meant.

The current top speed is just shy of 300mph -but on a very straight track. With no curves, no bumps in the terrain, and no humans on board (or any sort of biomechanical models to gauge how (un)comfortable the ride will be). It would be great if the entire riding experience can beat trains (or at least planes), but I have a gut feeling that security and human factor tests will create a lot of red flags that’ll splash some water onto hyperloop engineers’ faces?