Hyperloop Must be Built on Site

The first Hyperloop to be built will have huge development costs. Development and construction costs might be diminished if the hyperloop were to be built and developed on site. Unfortunately, I think people are being scared away from even attempting to undertake the hyperloop due to these costs.

“It’s not the manufacturing costs worrying them,” he said. “The costs they’re worried about are the development costs.” A big part of that development cost would be to build a prototype that would highlight for engineers things Musk didn’t account for or anticipate in his proposal, things that could come out only in real-world tests.

But, I think they are underestimating innovation. Having manufactures build huge pieces transportation infrasturure offsite increases delays, and decreases innovative design.  Two examples, one from Boston and the other the local Denver RTD commuter rail:

A long-awaited fleet of MBTA commuter rail cars, delivered 2½ years late by the South Korean manufacturer, is now so plagued by mechanical, engineering, and software problems that it has to be shipped to a facility in Rhode Island to be fitted with new parts. 

The other example is from the great Denver Urbanism blog.

Inevitably (and understandably so), questions are raised as to why the shells for the trains are being made somewhere other than the United States. In response, RTD has stated this:

“There are no U.S.-owned builder of electric commuter rail cars. However, Hyundai Rotem also will be assembling these cars in the United States with home-grown parts and labor. After the steel shells are fabricated in Korea, they are being shipped to Hyundai’s assembly plant in Philadelphia for the rest of the work. They comply with Buy America rules, and most of the major components are built in America including the wheels and trucks, braking system, propulsion system, train control system, floors, seats, doors, windows, HVAC and others.”

Read more about the East Rail Line at the Denver Transit Partners.

It all comes down to the policy of whoever is building they hyperloop, but I think it needs to be innovative and be built on site.

 

Hyperloop Halloween Five: Boston Vs Denver Transit Planning

Hyperloop Halloween Part Five: Boston vs Denver’s Goals for Transit Improvement

News that the Mayor of Boston is going to work on investing in rapid transit.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/10/22/patrick-announces-major-transportation-projects/Yy7o1rPiKEMzAlUsWgSEjJ/story.html

“BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is announcing a series of major transportation infrastructure investments that include new cars on the subway and open-road tolling on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Patrick is scheduled to make the announcements Tuesday during an address to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Patrick says the investment will stimulate economic growth and opportunity for commuters, residents and businesses, enhance accessibility, and ease traffic and congestion.

The governor says the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will launch a $1.3 billion procurement program to replace and increase the capacity of the Red Line and Orange Line trains.”

Im sure the development of the hyperloop will be costly but… not nearly $1.3 billion…

Then an editorial in the Denver Post surprised me.  http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_24267968/sobering-figures-rtd-northwest-rail-study

“The numbers are startling.

It would cost the Regional Transportation District half as much money to start up nearly 100 miles of enhanced bus service in the northern suburbs as it would to build 11 miles of light rail from Westminster to Broomfield.

That is a preliminary finding, as reported by The Denter Post’s Monte Whaley, from the Northwest Area Mobility Study, an effort by RTD to weigh its options when it became clear it would take 30 years to build the Northwest Rail Line from Denver to Longmont with current revenues.

Read more: Sobering figures in RTD Northwest rail study – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_24267968/sobering-figures-rtd-northwest-rail-study#ixzz2iSi9eamk”

Well both studies in transport will be scrutinized but I think the Mayors of the cities that the hyperloop will go though as well as the state Governor, should take a leading role in implementing any transit project. The Hyperloop could perhaps be solely a Governor  backed project. Having the Executive branch lead the high quality public transportation system along the Front Range Urban Corridor just makes sense.

But in the end, the Denver Post editorial ends on:

“We’ve said before we want folks in the northern suburbs to get the rail they were promised if possible, and we have been open to the idea of an additional, metrowide sales tax to finish the job.

Another solution could be a statewide tax issue for transportation, preferably user fees like fuel taxes to pay for roads and transit.

But we also agree we can’t have the Northwest Line at any cost.

Read more: Sobering figures in RTD Northwest rail study – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_24267968/sobering-figures-rtd-northwest-rail-study#ixzz2iSlzCXiV “