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Hyperloop construction starting soon on first test tracks

by Jacob Kleinman | January 19, 2016January 19, 2016 11:20 am PST

Elon Musk‘s Hyperloop, the one that can take you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes, is still just a dream, but later this year one of the first test tracks will rise up in California.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) revealed plans for an 8-kilometer test track in Quay Valley, about halfway between LA and SF. Speaking to IEEE Spectrum, HTT’s chief architect Craig Hodgetts admitted that there’s still plenty of work left to do. The company’s already gone well beyond Musk’s initial design, but there’s a lot it still needs to figure out before a public Hyperloop can actually launch.

“My sense is there will be fine-tuning at the Quay Valley installation,” Hodgetts said.

Hyperlook Technologies Inc. (HTI) is also hard at work on its own design. The company previously announced plans for a test track near Las Vegas after buying 50 acres of Nevada land. The track should be finished within the first quarter of the year.

The first test tracks may be located in the U.S., but when an actual Hyperloop is built you could have to travel around the world just to ride it. HTT CEO and founder Dirk Ahlborn hinted that the first route may end up in Asia, where there’s less of an existing transportation infrastructure, a rapidly growing economy and most importantly, less regulation.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...