Space X Hyperloop tube dismantled for employee parking lot in LA suburb

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,725   +1,176
Staff member
Editor's take: So far, Musk's dream of supersonic capsules that convey a driver and vehicle at 800 miles per hour has been somewhat disappointing. As Musk transitions to head honcho of Twitter, the decommissioning of the Hyperloop tube sitting outside his Los Angeles Space X facility indicates an abandonment of Musk's enthusiasm for the technology — at least for now.

The Hyperloop tube running along Jack Northrop Avenue in Hawthorne, Los Angeles, is no more. The Orange County Register reports that the mile-long above-ground tunnel that has sat adjacent to the Space X campus since 2017 was dismantled and hauled away last week. Construction on a Space X employee parking lot is already underway.

The Space X tube was a boon for the local contractors that helped build it. Erik Wright, owner of Precision Construction Services in San Luis Obispo, said he was excited when his company won the bid on the project.

"The Hyperloop is quite a badge of honor for us," Wright said. Wright admitted that the job helped his company land several other contracts. His clients expressed their confidence by saying, "If you built the Hyperloop, you can definitely build my project."

The little-known company went on to complete high-profile jobs, including a 3D-printing lab for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several launch sites for the Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Sped up footage showing the length of the Hawthorne Hyperloop tube.

Precision Construction was not alone on the project. International infrastructure builder Aecom, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles, built the tunnel's foundation and steel tube.

Wright's company handled everything inside the tunnel, including the concrete subtrack and joints, aluminum track, and interior lighting. Wright says it was challenging work since all the components that made up the tube expanded and contracted at different rates.

The Hawthorne Hyperloop test track was one of the first completed tunnels Elon Musk envisioned would allow people and their vehicles to travel long distances at up to 800 miles per hour. So far, testing has not come anywhere close to those speeds.

Much work is still needed before capsules in tunnels can reach the sci-fi velocities that Musk imagines. So far, the fastest record achieved in unmanned tests is 288mph. Part of the problem is developing an airtight vacuum tube that can propel capsules without the worry of the friction caused by air resistance.

In typical Musk fashion, the billionaire's interest has flitted away from Hyperloop for the time being as he devotes more energy and resources to Space X, Tesla, and his newest pet project Twitter. That is not to say Hyperloop is dead.

Fellow billionaire Richard Branson is heavily invested in Hyperloop — even splintering off a portion of the company calling it "Virgin Hyperloop." The Nevada test track completed its first "manned" mission in 2020, sending two people hurtling down the 500m tube at 107mph. Additionally, several projects are still on the table, including tunnels in North Carolina, Abu Dhabi, France, China, and Germany.

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Posts: 231   +127
A supercavitating torpedo can reach 240 mph underwater. So by using the same principle in a low air environment and combined with magnetic levitation, the mach 1+ would be possible for small to medium cargo transports. So by simply increasing the temperature of the moving capsule walls and their special geometry enhancements (and reducing it when it’s time to lower the speed) with resistive heating elements or some kind of chemical reaction it will produce an extra layer of lower density air around them so it will reduce friction and the movement will be much less lossy.

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Posts: 1,594   +2,951
Not viable as busted by Thunderf00t's incessant discussions on the subject. He's not a Musk fan and you don't have to look very hard to see the economics are not realistic. Building it would be expensive enough. Forever after sustaining a halfway decent vacuum in an enormous volume of tubing is difficult and power intensive.

Also trains..........exist.


Posts: 8,432   +7,877
Yet another Elon Musk overpromised & hyped lie bites the dust.
I'll put it slightly differently - yet another load of Musk BS Gas passed through his various orifices and dissipates into nothingness in typical Musk BS fashion.

Next load of BS Gas - that has already dissipated - Musk's 2022 trip to Mars and his Mars colony.

And still, apparently, people worship this guy and the ground he desecrates - not to mention, think he's newsworthy. :rolleyes:
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Hooda Thunkett

Posts: 22   +30
Basically it's just high-speed rail with a reduced passenger load and enclosed in a steel tube that's holding a semi-vacuum over it's entire length, with some kind of airlock arrangement to allow transport cars in and out.
So, how was this supposed to be better/cheaper than just high-speed rail without the complications?


Posts: 425   +337
Intercity trains in the UK already go at 125mph, those in France are faster at 186mph while
Japanese bullet trains reach 200-275mph. They're all rather pleasant to travel on (if you get a seat).

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,363   +8,581
Since the dawn of the automobile Americans have had a long term love affair with their cars. It has killed trans, high speed rail, and now hyper-everything. There is something about being in control and able to re-chart your own path that Americans crave and no mass-transect will ever replace. There are some exceptions, say from big city to big city but by & large, until a better invention that then individuals cars is invented, it's going to be a continuing disappointment .....