As the competitive development of hyperloop continues, there's a clear dividing line: the land itself. Companies and stakeholders need to deal with terrain. There are different visions for what a hyperloop will look like, once it's built to scale and deployed in service of freight or passenger needs. Will hyperloop be a long steel tube, elevated on pylons, alongside interstates? Or will hyperloop pods shoot by, right underneath our feet, unnoticed?
(Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hyperloop.jpg)
In an interview with Tunnel Business Magazine, Brad Swartzwelter offered his opinion: the underground option is the most sensible. Swartzwelter is a member of HARP, an organizer of the upcoming Global Hyperloop Conference, and a forward-thinking conductor on a traditional passenger railroad service.
In the article, he said that hyperloop could most efficiently reduce transport times if it is able to operate in a straight line. Tunneling is a workaround for complex right-of-way issues. Securing above ground rights-of-way is oftentimes a slow and expensive task. These kinds of complications could impact the public perception of hyperloop, an unfamiliar, "fifth mode" of transportation. Swartzwelter characterizes this as "a political, financial and social problem."
"Hyperloop has to have straight lines if it is going to realize its potential speed. Curves kill speed," he said.
An underground system might also be more secure and resilient. But the feasibility of this option is largely premised upon advancements in tunneling technology.
For the full interview, go to: https://tunnelingonline.com/qa-with-brad-swartzwelter-tunneling-and-hyperloop/