'Air-tube' train could travel near the speed of sound


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AUSTIN — Elon Musk is the successful inventor who played a role in the creation of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. In 2013, he made national headlines by proposing an air-tube transit system.

Called Hyperloop, it was essentially a futuristic-looking train that traveled through a pressurized tube similar the ones you use at the drive-through of your local bank.

Musk claimed the Hyperloop tube could safely transport people at nearly the speed of sound. For example, a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take about 30 minutes.

According to a recent CNN.com report, Hyperloop is still very much a possibility. Musk was in Texas for a transportation forum when he announced that he’d be building a Hyperloop test track. He said the track would probably be located in Texas.


As described by CNN, the Hyperloop would be powered by “a series of electric motors.” Solar panels on the top of the tube would provide the energy necessary to keep things moving.

While the concept may sound bizarre, it’s believed to be economically feasible. According to Musk and other experts, the construction of Hyperloop would actually cost much less than the alternative, which is the high-speed train rails that are currently being used nationwide.

The proposed route for the first Hyperloop would be the aforementioned connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Following the I-5 highway, it would dramatically decrease the commute time.

Musk also announced that students would be able use the test track in Texas for research projects. Student access might even be expanded to include an annual race competition.

About the Author: Grant Olsen -----------------------------

Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. You can contact him at grantorrin@gmail.com.

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