The 700 M. P. H. Missouri Mole

2441 views
33 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 5,668 posts
Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 06, 2018 5:13 PM

Somebody explain to me why it would be difficult to secure a construction OK for something that does not involve any above-ground spoil removal, very little accommodation for surface structures before the bore goes below bridging strength for the overlying soil or rock (or crust!) and that is entirely built with private money until full technical practicality is observed.  For a vactrain system that has otherwise been speculated about for well over 50 years.

I believe the thing he's discussing for NYC-DC is a full vacuum subway, not some piddling little 700mph Suburban-based enterprise.  It does have to be said that if he builds it, the result would be the same as indicated for the first railroad to electrify all the way from New York to Chicago: it would get all the effective passenger business at its price point, not just "some".  Meaning some interesting divergence toward distinctive-competence advantages for air, rail, and bus in that corridor. 

Be interesting to see if he would do full marginal pricing for the Vactrains -- I think I'd at least try it, with standby representing the 'steerage' kind of market that Ismay expected to profit from with his three big freighters-with-benefits.  That would make a great deal of the ad hoc bus service providers between the two cities a bit more than alarmed.  By the time the Boring Company gets done building it, that is.  Which I do not think will be soon, even if they can beat Godot's performance by the margin they want.

  • Member since
    September, 2013
  • 2,702 posts
Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 12:11 PM

Outside of the usual myths and misconceptions, which could be a formidable obstacle, from the whole earth crowd and their political allies, well really nothing. 

It's Mining ..pure and simple...and any mining brings out the anti mining bunch. 

In reality, bigger issues would be Ground Control, Ventilation, Hydrogeology (water issues).

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 1,360 posts
Posted by Victrola1 on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 1:26 PM

The World is Not Enough (1999): Pipeline Run

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecnlHLVRUGU

  • Member since
    October, 2012
  • 121 posts
Posted by Jim200 on Thursday, February 08, 2018 10:34 AM

Musk has gotten Maryland's approval to tunnel between Baltimore and Washington DC. It is hard to see how he will improve the tunnel boring machines, but he has contacted the best experts in the country and has his SpaceX engineers for cross-fertilization of ideas. One problem that gets local attention is getting rid of the dirt and all the trucks that have to travel on the roads to dump it somewhere, hopefully close. By the way, Musk has his Tesla engineers designing electric trucks, which should cut down on noise, a major local complaint.

Japan has also been talking with Maryland for putting a maglev between the same cities. It would be interesting to combine the two proposals. On the other hand, Musk has the good will of all the universities in the country, Canada, and Europe, and may want to pursue one or a combination of their designs. At the top of the list is MIT and the Netherlands, but there are many ideas out there. Combining Musk with Jared Kushner and jobs sounds like a good way to get 100 boring machines working.

Switzerland has been a leader in tunneling and even proposed an evacuated tunnel complex all through Europe called the Swissmetro. It was a 300mph maglev system with an aerodynamic capsule. Although we are now talking 700mph, a 240mph maglev like the Virgin Hyperloop One test or 270mph maglev like that in China, would blow the doors off Amtrak. On the top end we know that Japan has tested maglev to 375 mph, and of course the big problem for more speed is air resistance. We wouldn't even need to have a 200,000 ft vacuum, but could start with something safer. 

Virgin Hyperloop One has been making a lot of progress with their maglev hyperloop and will need to start building. Unfortunately they haven't  shared information on what they have developed. I see that they now have a motorized door closure, and at least have more confidence in their braking system. Their progress is linked to their financial team which has managed to get many millions of dollars.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy