Feel like going to Sydney for lunch? It would become a possibility if Ultraspeed Australia has its way.
Ultraspeed is proposing an inland Hyperloop route from Brisbane via Toowoomba and Tamworth to Sydney, with a secondary line to the Gold Coast.
Originally envisioned by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Hyperloop pods hurtle along inside zero-pressure metal vacuum tubes. Powered by an electric air compression fan and induction motor, they’re designed to achieve high speeds by levitating on an air cushion above huge magnets. Ultraspeed is the Australian representative of the US-based Hyperloop One.
“It can be designed as a commuter solution as well as a long-distance route,’’ Steve Artis, director of Ultraspeed Australia, told the Courier Mail.
The idea is to offer fares in the range of your typical interstate bus ticket, with a trip between the Gold Coast and Brisbane taking just 10 minutes. Thinking even longer distances, Ultraspeed estimates a Hyperloop network between Brisbane and Melbourne would cost $40 billion, making it significantly cheaper than high-speed rail.
If this all sounds too good to be true, Garry Glazebrook agrees with you. The University of Technology Sydney associate professor told news.com.au in a separate story that the idea seems implausible.
The main issue? Curves. A current high-speed train requires a curved radius of more than seven kilometres to prevent passengers from feeling sick. Travelling more than 1,000 kilometres per hour – as Hyperloop pods are designed to do – would require a far wider arc. “It’s not transportation; it’s a barf ride,” Glazebrook said.
Artis will spruik the idea tomorrow morning at an Infrastructure Association of Queensland breakfast at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.