The re-emergence of Hyperloop technology has made us all sit up and dream of a future of ultra-fast ground travel. But how many of us really think it can or will materialise?
The concept of high-speed rail is much easier to fathom; with minimal changes to technology, infrastructure, and our thinking, it's more likely to succeed.
In some ways, the Hyperloop idea is so far removed from our current way of thinking. It is not just the technology which needs to be addressed to deliver the solution, but more importantly the mindsets of us mere mortals to accept the change.
Now stripping back the idea; removing all the tech and space age marketing. If someone offered you a new transport solution in urban areas, involving underground tubes and carriages would you think the idea was something new?
Hyperloop, since its launch by Mr Musk in August 2013is both exciting the public imagination and disrupting the high-speed rail industry in a similar way, perhaps, to that of Beach’s original idea over 140 years ago. But this time round, it may well become a reality… Alan James has been championing maglev (magnetic levitation) technology for years. He was the man behind the failed UK Ultraspeed proposal for a high-speed maglev train, an alternative to the controversial High Speed Two (HS2) project that is still very much in the running. In Berlin, Mr James was back in business as the vice president of worldwide business development, passenger systems, at Hyperloop One, the private US company that, with 180 full-time staff, is taking the concept very seriously indeed.