The “Plan” is that Hyperloop One and The Muhammad Ali Hyperlink will construct an Hyperloop from Louisville, Kentucky. The “last mile” into Chicago will be over the South Shore Railroad. Poor Louisville has been stuck for years with no AMTRAK service.
Revealed: World’s First Full-Scale Hyperloop Test Track, aka DevLoop, To Make History in 2017
We released the first images this week of our DevLoop, the only Hyperloop test bed of its kind on the planet. Almost complete, DevLoop is the fruit of many long days and nights spent by more than 150 Hyperloop One engineers, technicians and fabricators transforming what was a barren stretch of Nevada desert five months ago into a hive of activity. We will be using DevLoop to run hundreds of tests to validate and improve on the entire set of Hyperloop One systems: pod, tube, vacuum, levitation, propulsion, and controls. It’s tech’s new landmark.
The first and only full-scale Hyperloop test track in the world has been hiding in plain sight–if you know which Nevada highway to drive down. The white steel tube is hard to miss from the roadside. It was only a matter of time before one of our intrepid fans shared some bootleg photos on the Internet. It’s better that we share them with you first. So, here they are, the first public images of our Development Loop, or DevLoop.
DevLoop was the result of many, many long days and nights spent by more than 150 Hyperloop One engineers, technicians and fabricators transforming what was a barren stretch of desert five months ago into a hive of activity. DevLoop is our proof of technology, a crucial test bed that will demonstrate our ability to accelerate a levitated pod at high speeds in a near-vacuum using our proprietary propulsion and control systems. We do plenty of component testing and simulation back at our Innovation Campus in Los Angeles, but there are many questions we can’t ask and answers we can’t get unless we run tests on real hardware at scale. Having DevLoop as an outdoor lab gives us a unique capability to test various levitation, propulsion, vacuum and control technologies. We will be running hundreds of different kinds of trials over the next months, and channeling all the insights we get into the next few generations of production Hyperloop One systems over the years to come.
The one-million-kilogram structure is nearly complete. The last few tube sections are being craned into place and welded, the vacuum pump is operational and installation of the track, linear motor and autonomous control systems are well underway.
Our “Kitty Hawk” moment of first flight is set to take place in the first half of this year. It’s not going to be a long trip for our test pod, maybe 10 or 20 seconds at most. But you know what they say about a small step for man. Once the first brand new mode of transportation in more than 100 years makes its maiden run, this stretch of scrubby Nevada desert (empty except for the tortoise friends we’ve adopted over the last few months) will stake a claim as a future national historic site.
Times Between Chicago and Louisville
HYPERLOOP Downtown Louisville to Gary International Airport
266 miles in 35 minutes
South Shore Line To Downtown
30 miles in 54 minutes
TOTAL 296 miles in 89 minutes
Flight Louisville to Downtown Chicago
Louisville Downtown to airport
10 miles in 15 minutes
287 miles 30 minutes
Airport to Downtown (CTA)
26 miles 72 minutes
TOTAL 323 miles in 117 minutes
AMTRAK No Service
Drive Louisville to Downtown Chicago
297 miles in 279 minutes
Accelerating U.S. high-speed rail development is consistently cited by transportation experts as the best possible investment in the country’s future—it would connect economic regions, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and boost rural economies. Even the most optimistic estimates say this will take decades and billions of dollars. But what if Hyperloop could do it sooner, and for a fraction of the cost?
That’s the proposal by Hyperloop One in its Vision for America strategy, a plan for 11 Hyperloop routes connecting 35 major cities announced last week. The routes are the U.S. finalists for a Hyperloop One competition, where teams submitted proposals for the most promising Hyperloop corridors around the world, based on estimated ridership and economic potential.
Hyperloop One says its new network would connect 83 million Americans, including routes linking Los Angeles to San Diego, Dallas to Austin, Texas, and a mega-route serving cities from Cheyenne to Houston.
In a post outlining Hyperloop One’s plan, Hyperloop One’s senior business analyst Rehi Alaganar compares the company’s vision to the country’s Interstate Highway System, built in 1956 with massive federal investment as the “backbone of commerce.” In fact, each proposal is attempting to solve a very specific regional challenge related to jobs, manufacturing, and the movement of goods. Boeing was cited as an example:
With a Hyperloop network extending out of the Seattle area, as proposed by one of the Global Challenge teams, employers such as Boeing, Amazon or Microsoft could access ten times the labor pool, reaching as far afield as Portland, Boise, and the San Francisco Bay area. Hyperloop would also allow Boeing to move new manufacturing facilities inland to a place such as southern Idaho, dropping its land cost by more than 50 percent.
This commerce-driven approach touted by Hyperloop One suggests that these routes will probably not be true public transit but will likely be paid for by privately funded partnerships. This might also endear Hyperloop One to the current administration; the two developers picked to head up President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced trillion-dollar infrastructure plan both specialize in public-private partnerships.
Hyperloop One’s technology will be on public display when a test track being built in the Nevada desert conducts its first full-scale test later this year. (The company will also be able to demonstrate the feasibility of its cost-per-mile claims.) After that, however, Hyperloop One will face its real test: convincing local governments, transportation planners, and hundreds of landowners that this brand-new idea is a better deal than tried-and-true high-speed rail.