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View Diary: Lies, Damned Lies, And Hyperloop (94 comments)

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  •  In the words of Wikipedia, (0+ / 0-)

    [Citation needed]

    Because I did crunch some of his numbers.  For example, math for you: take the outer diameter of the tube in meters, calculate the area, subtract the inner diameter's area, multiply by two for the two directions, and that's your cross section.  Multiply by the length of the track and that's your volume.  Multiply by 7,8 tonnes per cubic meter for steel and that's your mass.  Multiply by 400 and that's the approximate cost of the raw steel.  Compare to Musk's budget of $650 million, and you'll find it's actually about a third of what Musk budgets.  Even at the $800 a tonne for high quality cast steel used in HSR, Musk's budget is still conservative.

    That's just one example, I can show you how to do others if you're interested.

    The budget looks cheap if you compare it to rail budgeting, of course.  But that's the point, it was designed to be cheap compared to rail, and there are reasons for that - namely, the consequences of such a small, low mass system.  If anything that makes it cheaper than rail automatically looks suspicious to you, then by definition, anything that is cheaper than rail will be suspicious to you.

    Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

    by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 01:09:49 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  fascinating considering the hyperloop document (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, BruceMcF

      itself says the 6 billion dollar cost is probably not what it will end up being.

      I noticed that Hyperloop looked remarkably like Swissmetro, a now dead project in Switzerland. There, though, they were a bit more realistic about their costs, which they estimated for a 500 kilometer piece of infrastructure and its associated transport equipment to be somewhere around $27 billion dollars in 1997. The thing though is that transportation projects, even new and innovative ones, do not get cheaper as time goes on unless they're significantly re-engineered (and that costs money), so with inflation this number is probably considerably higher.

      I noticed there's to be either a bridge or a tunnel into San Francisco at the northern end. Did you know that CalTrans at this very moment is rebridging San Francisco Bay? Guess how much it costs.

      I'll just tell you. It's 6 billion dollars to bridge HALF the bay. BART tunnels under the bay. This tunnel, dug out in 1970, bored today would cost $1 billion, and that's a low-ball estimate.

      So right there we're either up to $7 billion (if we tunnel, and do it  cheaply) or $12 billion or more (if we bridge) and that's just from the San Francisco end. And that doesnt' even begin to cover the cost of a station cavern beneath San Francisco, because really, the city that eliminated an unsafe and ugly elevated double-deck freeway is going to allow a bunch of tubes elevated on pylons run through town? Please.

      Then there's the right-of-way.

      The pylons are a nice touch to keep the footprint small. Still, right of way is still required, if not for the tube structure itself. Natural gas pipelines use a right of way minimum of 25 feeton each side, although this varies.

      Certainly is true that in California's Central Valley, land is cheap. And costs can be further bought down if you stick to the state's right of way along I-5. Still, bridges and overpasses and culverts will need to be engineered. The structures can't just pass over them. Or under them, if the tube is built at grade (which would actually be cheapest). That's more right-of-way. And this process takes years, even if entirely funded privately. Kelo v. City of New London aside, one still needs a government to take someone's property. Oh, and such takings in California are illegal anyway, and CA was one of the many states that passed laws to block the Kelo ruling. CAHSR got pricey when they were forced to build tunnels and viaducts. I'll give Musk his numbers on tunnels. Viaducts are a more or less fixed cost. He proposes to build a viaduct that's hundreds of miles long for less than 4 billion dollars? wow. Engineers globally want to know his secret.

      The tunnel costs have already been picked to bits here. They're too low and this is California where one has to deal with both strike-slip and normal/reverse faulting. Those lovely mountains north of Los Angeles are there because the plate boundary is bent at an angle that forced mountains up almost 10,000 feet, folding them over on themselves. The proposed Delta Water tunnel (which at least two kossacks have blogged about extensively over the last year) is 35 miles long. It's a water tunnel. It's far narrower than hyperloop's proposed tunnels. It's going to cost $23 billion. That's $657 million a mile.

      I know this because it's part of what I do for a living and have done for over eight years. Just because Musk is rich and awesome (and he is rich and awesome) does not mean he's an expert on the transport funding side. It's very clear he isn't. I'm a bit disappointed he couldn't use his richness and awesomeness to FIND someone to run a proper calculation for him. Stanford, I believe, has a fine urban and regional transportation planning program. Surely he could have paid someone there to run some numbers for him.

      That assumes the NIMBYs let you build in the first place. They will take you to court, and win. NIMBYs who don't want those pylons on their property, or their sight-views blocked (see, Cape Wind), or don't think it's safe, or just don't want it in their area. Hyperloop's path goes through sparsely populated country but not empty country. More time and money spent, right there.

      I didn't even get into the very expensive NEPA process. That's "National Environmental Planning Act." It's very expensive. Every project has to do it. It takes a very long time. And the NIMBYs are permitted a copy of it.

      NIMBYs are not rational but they get their way a great deal of the time.

      Basically, the process is this:

      What is, is everything that comes before it. For one, it's a new technology. You need to build a test system, and every safety agency needs to get their grubby little hands on it. Add a couple of years. Then you need to get your financing in order. All private money? Yeah right. Add a five more years for public money - triple that depending who's controlling the purse strings. And then you have your land battle. Your property acquisitions. Your court cases. Your injunctions.
      This is something everyone who works in any kind of infrastructure construction has to put up with almost everywhere except maybe China, where they just take what they want more or less when they want it. We've hosted Chinese engineers at my agency. They're shocked things take so long. But that's democracy for you!

      I haven't even gotten to the southern end of the hyperloop track, in the San Fernando Valley. There, you'll still have to content with NIMBYs, very expensive right of way. I see that at I-5 and CA14 , there's a multi-yearinterchange improvement with associated and hard-fought open space for the animals. NIMBYs are not going to let hyperloop in there at all. So you change the route, and then you're taking property again. Your costs balloon.

      And I didn't even get into maintaining the damn thing. That also costs money, especially if it's elevated.

      I don't care what numbers you crunched. I'm telling you they're a fraction of what this will end up costing. I think it's a neat concept and don't care too much about the technical objections yet. But it'd behoove the team working on this (or any team, since the last page says it's "open source") to come up with some realistic costs. I passed this around the office. We all thought it was cool. We laughed our asses off at $6 billion. Remember, this is what we do. We fund and finance transportation. Musk has handwaved the costs to the point where they're hilarious, delusional, and ridiculous.

      There certainly is something to be said about how expensive infrastructure is, though but $6 billion will get you a nice skyscraper or two. It won't get you a 400-mile long piece of infrastructure with endpoints in the most expensive regions on the planet.

      I'd expect this to cost around the same as CAHSR, but because it's "new" technology, perhaps a bit higher, but that's a guess.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

      by terrypinder on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 05:40:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re (0+ / 0-)
        fascinating considering the hyperloop document itself says the 6 billion dollar cost is probably not what it will end up being.
        "The total cost of Hyperloop in this analysis is under $6 billion USD"

        You're right, it doesn't say it'll be $6 billion.  It says under $6 billion.

        I noticed that Hyperloop looked remarkably like Swissmetro, a now dead project in Switzerland.
        In what manner is a hard vaccuum, maglev, full-size train project remotely like a soft vacuum, air cushion, minitrain project?  Hard vaccuum was avoid because it's too expensive.  Maglev was avoided because it's too expensive.  Full-size trains were avoid because it's too expensive.  And yet to you they're the same?  Why, because they're in tubes?  So is a subway the same as Hyperloop to you also?
        The thing though is that transportation projects, even new and innovative ones, do not get cheaper as time goes on unless they're significantly re-engineered
        In what way is Hyperloop not significantly re-engineered compared to conventional forms of travel?
        I noticed there's to be either a bridge or a tunnel into San Francisco at the northern end.
        There is admittedly some confusion in the documents as to whether it goes into San Francisco proper or whether it terminates in Hayward (I'd wager that they were trying out both scenarios at the time of publication).  But one has to drop either one criticism or the other: you can't say that it doesn't go into SF and say that they need to build a bridge, you need to pick one.  One could also note that there's no reason that they couldn't stop just short of the Bay Bridge, there's a rail line that runs over there that they could go over ending right near the bridge in a big rail yard in an industrial area (aka, should be cheap land and there should be no right-of-way issues to get there).
        BART tunnels under the bay. This tunnel, dug out in 1970, bored today would cost $1 billion, and that's a low-ball estimate.
        Assuming we're taking the across-the-bay scenario (note: most people don't actually live in SF itself), you're talking about boring a full-sized rail tunnel, as if the proposal - and me as well - didn't point out that the system has a far lower cross section than a rail tunnel. Boring costs are roughly proportional to the amount of material you have to excavate.

        It's simply not justifiable to compare boring a 20' rail tunnel to boring a pair of 7' tube tunnels.

        And while it's easy to point to expensive tunnels, it's also easy to point to cheap ones.  For example, the Minneapolis Hiawatha LRT line - $110m for a 1.38 mile tunnel - under $80m a mile.  Why the difference?  It's not in an urban area and not going under a body of water (same as Hyperloop), which is one of the main reasons why expensive tunnels are often so expensive.  And, to reiterate, that price is for a tunnel with about ten times the cross section of a Hyperloop line.  

        Have I bothered to mention that rail tunnels also have to have all sorts of service stations and the like inside their tunnels, deal with airflow, and all sorts of other issues not applicable to Hyperloop?  It's not a trivial portion of costs.

        because really, the city that eliminated an unsafe and ugly elevated double-deck freeway is going to allow a bunch of tubes elevated on pylons run through town? Please.
        So because a system eliminated something unsafe means that they're not going to allow something safe?  Logic fail.  And train tracks from HSR are supposed to be our ideal of an aesthetic plus?  Come on.

        And of course, as mentioned, there's not really a reason to cross the Bay Bridge in the first place.  Honestly, Hayward is as central a location as any.  You know how far (in the wrong direction) people in San Jose have to travel to get to downtown SF?  It's not exactly a good spot for a long-distance travel station.  

        The pylons are a nice touch to keep the footprint small. Still, right of way is still required, if not for the tube structure itself. Natural gas pipelines use a right of way minimum of 25 feeton each side, although this varies.
        And, from a description of said right-of-way:
        Normal gardening and agricultural activities are generally acceptable.
        And that's for buried pipelines, which should be a lot more restricted than elevated.  And as for right-of-way in the median, a highway is a right-of-way; right of way is about access to the structure.
        Still, bridges and overpasses and culverts will need to be engineered.
        Which is in the figures, as is noted from the tunnelling and the difference in pylon sizings (laid out in categories of 20 ft, 50ft, and 100ft).
        Kelo v. City of New London aside, one still needs a government to take someone's property. Oh, and such takings in California are illegal anyway, and CA was one of the many states that passed laws to block the Kelo ruling.
        Thank you kindly for admitting one of my main points, which many Hyperloop detractors deny, which is that by means of being so small and elevated, it gets to skirt one of the major costs - private land acquisition.  I've had some detractors insisting that land acquisition isn't actually a big deal.  The raw purchase price isn't, but the hassle is!
        The tunnel costs have already been picked to bits here.
        It's as if my criticism of that notion - that they're basing their tunnelling costs criticism on building tunnels with over 20-times the cross-sectional area as a Hyperloop tube - are absurd.  By their logic, laying water pipe costs the same as the Delta Water Tunnel.  You know the diameter of the Delta Water Tunnels?  33 feet each.  Under an environmentally sensitive area.  Could you possible come up with a more absurd comparison?  Oooh, ooh, compare it to the Big Dig while you're at it!

        33 foot tunnel

        In your world, they cost the same!

        Meanwhile, I'll be here in the world of Real-World Comparisons...

        It's far narrower than hyperloop's proposed tunnels. It's going to
        Hahahahahaa... yeah, in a magical world where twin 33 feet tunnels is narrower than twin 7-foot tunnels!
        I know this because it's part of what I do for a living and have done for over eight years
        Then I recommend you get a new job if you think that something like the Delta Water Tunnel is going to be less than 7 feet wide.
        Those lovely mountains north of Los Angeles are there because the plate boundary is bent at an angle that forced mountains up almost 10,000 feet, folding them over on themselves
        Which is entirely relevant to the nonexistant proposal to tunnel through the Grapevine.  The tunnel segment is on the SF approach leg.
        I'm a bit disappointed he couldn't use his richness and awesomeness to FIND someone to run a proper calculation for him.
        Right, because you know so much better, says a person who can't even ballpark a tunnel size in their own field of business.  The numbers I've ran of Musk's figures match.  Where's YOUR alternative calculations?
        That assumes the NIMBYs let you build in the first place.
        Which, again, is one of the main advantages of the Hyperloop proposal, to build on public right of way and minimize - not eliminate, but minimize - the effect of NIMBYism versus HSR, which has to acquire vastly more private land.
        I didn't even get into the very expensive NEPA process. That's "National Environmental Planning Act."
        And what could possibly be easier of an environmental review to pass than a solar-powered system which is entirely sealed in operation and largely built on medians - that is, areas that have already passed review, been bulldozed, levelled, and are exposed daily to huge amounts of car exhaust?

        And seriously, as though Musk is a stranger to environental review.  In the car industry?  Launching rockets full of combustible toxic liquids?  Large manufacturing plants for both?  I mean really here...

        I see that at I-5 and CA14 , there's a multi-yearinterchange improvement with associated and hard-fought open space for the animals. NIMBYs are not going to let hyperloop in there at all.
        Are you talking about Newhall Pass?  The same place where they just completed building a new HOV ramp this year?  And before that, was modified after the 1994 quake?  Yeah, so impossible to modify.  I can't imagine them ever approving columns every 100 feet.... (/sarcasm)

        And heck, even the current truck HOV lanes project is going ahead - and wth a significant widening of the road, not at all what's being talked about with hyperloop.

        I don't care what numbers you crunched. I'm telling you they're a fraction of what this will end up costing.
        Oh, hey, boldfaced assertion, that's going to win you arguments.  "You've got numbers, I've got UNBACKED ASSERTIONS!"  Is that the strategy you want to use here?
        We laughed our asses off at $6 billion.
        Just like all the people who laughed their assess off at SpaceX, then Tesla.  I remember it well.  I was involved in both of those debates.
        but that's just a guess
        Unlike you, I'm not a fan of guesses.  I'm a fan of numbers.  And the numbers I've ran check out.  And all I'm getting back is a bunch of "But rail tunnels with ten times the cross section built under cities and under water cost so much more!", a bunch of "But rail viaducts through difficult areas designed to carry trains that weigh several hundred times as much cost so much more!", and the like.  Give me a real argument, with comparable numbers, and I might think you had a point.  Don't just give me a "guess" and your view that the numbers are "funny" because they're low.  Because numbers can also be low because they're actually low.  In fact, that's sort of the whole point.

        Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

        by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 07:18:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Corr: (0+ / 0-)

          That should read:

          33 foot tunnel
          7 foot tunnel

          In your world, they cost the same!

          The second link got cut out.

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 07:20:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Corr2: (0+ / 0-)
          It's not in an urban area and not going under a body of water (same as Hyperloop),
          I was talking about the actual Hyperloop tunnel, not the hypothetical under-the-bay one, which really is a totally unnecessary and in fact rather counterproductive concept.  You make your average trip to the station longer for people in the bay area, not shorter, by doing that.

          Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

          by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 09:03:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But for people traveling to the Bay Area ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... the largest number of destinations are in the downtown SF area.

            And since the population of the LA urban area is greater than the population of the SF/Oakland urban area, for an effective transport system, there would be more destinations to SF than origins from SF.

            It is true that the ideal station for origins and the ideal station for destinations is not the same place, but that is a strike against the Hyperloop approach rather than a point in its favor. An HSR system responds to that commonplace fact of transport demands with multiple stations in the largest urban centers.

            Of course, the HSR system has substantial passenger demand modeling standing behind it, subjected to public scrutiny and improved over time as a result ... while the Hyperloop proposal reaches the conslusion that it offers superior service to the HSR system without any transport demand modelling at all.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:28:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  i get that you're a Elon Musk stan (0+ / 0-)

          but seriously, you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to the transportation planning, funding, and financing process and you seem to be taking criticism of an idea awfully personally, as if you and Elon Musk have been personally attacked when I've done no such thing and neither did BruceMcF although he is far more skeptical than I am. I find that to be a fascinating indictment of celebrity culture. Yes, Elon Musk is a celebrity. Anyway...

          your assertion that a 400+ mile long piece of infrastructure will only cost 6 billion dollars or less is just not right. I'm not that concerned yet with the technical objections others have had. Once again, I think this is a cool concept.

          It's not going to only cost $6 billion and that's part of why this is an Alpha release document.

          I don't know if you've ever lived in San Francisco but you can't just dismiss any point about the pylons without taking the city's NIMBY contingent into consideration, a contingent so famous we learned about it here on the East Coast in urban and regional planning classes as an example of NIMBYs gone wild. Logic fail? Indeed, it is. NIMBY is not a rational, logical creature, but it tends to get its way, forcing projects to get re-engineered if not outright canceled.  And that. costs. money.

          This isn't hard. Well, actually it is. It's hard and very annoying. Musk builds cars and spaceships. He doesn't build highways, rail lines, or the like. I have to say the estimate is just naive. I do not yet believe that this is part of a conspiracy to kill California's high-speed rail project.

          Also, CAHSR isn't bridging the bay, or tunneling under it. It's coming up the peninsula on the alignment used by Caltrans. Yes it will be a slow alignment until the mid to late 2020s.

          I’ve also found out that I’m not entirely correct about my low-ball estimate for boring another BART tunnel under the bay. It’s actually $3 billion. So we’ll go $1 to $3 billion to tunnel under the bay into San Francisco.

          Of course if you eliminate the San Francisco terminus for Hyperloop, you'll save billions of dollars, but you'll then lose the "SF to LA in 35 minutes" hype. I suppose the document is unclear. On page 11 though it says it clearly is a “San Fran to Hollywood” transport system. But the termini are to be in Hayward and Sylmar? Okay.
          I wonder how long it takes to get from Sylmar to Hollywood using either transit or driving? I’m not in Southern California, so I really don’t know.  Same for Hayward into San Francisco. I don’t know. It’s something that should be addressed in future iterations of the document, which is an alpha-release.

          This is one of the many paragraphs that tells me you’re not quite knowledgeable with transportation funding:

          Thank you kindly for admitting one of my main points, which many Hyperloop detractors deny, which is that by means of being so small and elevated, it gets to skirt one of the major costs - private land acquisition.  I've had some detractors insisting that land acquisition isn't actually a big deal.  The raw purchase price isn't, but the hassle is!
          No, it does not get to skirt private and acquisition. There are parts of the alignment that have no median (especially at both of the termini.)

          Not to mention CalTrans isn’t going to give its right of way up for free. You still have to pay for the footprint or expect a truly massive public subsidy. And then again, there’s the fact that the footprint in places will be in areas that will require private land acquisition. California does not allow (last I checked) governments to acquire land for the use of handing it over to a private entity, despite this being allowed by Kelo.

          I didn’t even mention paying the contractor and their employees. Dirty little open secret of transportation construction that’s been the case for over half a century in the US: private sector builds it while the public pays for it entirely. We do low-bids because we expect cost overruns. They are the rule and not the exception. Some states punish contractors for that and reward them for coming in at or under bid when all is said and done. I have no idea what California does.

          You keep saying this is going to be super light and the tubes are light and the pylons are light. Wouldn’t a pod traveling at 800 miles an hour in a soft vac tube produce significant lateral forces on the structure elevating it above the Earth’s surface, thus requiring heavy large pylons? I’m just curious. Especially with the vertical curves and everything. I suppose that’s fixed by the pylons being only 50 feet apart. But then again you’ve got that right-of-way issue, which has to be paid for even if it’s from a public entity.

          His costs, in this ALPHA release, are not consistent with any real-world construction cost figures . He figures only one billion dollars for land acquisition. That’s hilarious. And it’s wrong.

          Okay, I’ll concede the Delta Tunnel is much wider than 7 feet. My industry doesn’t build utilities.  Hyperloop’s diameter sounds similar to a gas and/or oil pipeline. Now, gas and oil pipelines are built to different standards than transportation (for example, they can take super-sharp curves, grades, and more that transportation cannot) but that’s a side issue for right now. They can also be built to be very flexible ---the Trans-Alaska Pipeline successfully survived an M7.8 earthquake (the magnitude of the next expected earthquake, incidentally, in the Tejon Pass region) without a single leak despite crossing the Denali Fault.
          I linked a metafilter thread upthread and then went and did my own homework based on it.

          Current gas/oil pipeline costs are $200,000 per inch per mile. Assume that scales. 7 feet in diameter is 84 inches. Okay. So we’re at about $17 million/mile, if the pipeline is buried, and somewhere comparable if it’s elevated. So we’ll go with $17 million/mile for an elevated 7 foot in diameter tube. $17 million times 400 miles is? $6.8billion so we’re already over. Unless Mr. Musk has found a way to make civil engineering super cheap (and if so, he really should publish his magic method so we can copy it the world over), the $6 billion number is unrealistic.

          Of course, that number I spit out is not realistic. It assumes a single straight-line viaduct, and that’s not realistic at all. I’m most interested in the portion of I-5 known as The Grapevine, where the highway snakes its way up and over (at a 6% grade! Wow!)  the Tejon Pass from the Central Valley into the Los Angeles area. His document says (page 45, in the version I downloaded this morning) that the route deviates from I-5 in this section. I’m wondering how he plans on doing this. Tunnels? A viaduct on pylons far taller than in the Central Valley? You have to go from 1400 foot elevation to 5,000 plus foot elevation in a fairly short distance, and then back again down into the Los Angeles area. And that’s going to be super-duper cheap? No, it really isn’t going to be. I’ve read there’s to be 12 miles of tunnel through the same terrain that HSR is going to build 27 miles of tunnel. Interesting.

          Finally, your last couple paragraphs. I’m glad you’re not a fan of guesses. Unfortunately, the document’s costs section is full of them. It’s going to cost ten times if not more what it says in that open-source alpha-release. I mean he has $3.15 billion just for the pylons. The paragraph on page 28:

          The expected cost for the pillar construction and tube joints is expected to be no more than $2.55 billion USD for the passenger version tube and $3.15 billion USD for the passenger plus vehicle version tube. The expected cost for the tunneling is expected to be no more than $600 million USD for the smaller diameter tube and near $700 million USD for the larger diameter tube.
          Where did this number come from?

          25,000 pillars. That’s in there. 20 feet tall. That’s also in there. How much do they weigh? That’s important, because it determines how much each pillar will cost. That is NOT in there.

          The costs on page 55 and 56 are a guess. But again, this is just an alpha-release open-source document. It’s a neat concept that deserves further consideration, but it’s not going to be that cheap. There are pretty hard limits on how low you can drive the price.

          You don’t believe in guesses. Fine and fair enough. I don’t believe in magic. These costs are magic.

          And they don't even begin to get into operating costs and maintenance over the life of the infrastructure.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

          by terrypinder on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:15:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't have time for a full response right now... (0+ / 0-)

            but just wanted to do one quick part.  Oil pipelines are your comparison figure?  Really think the environmental study on an oil pipeline - or heck, a gas pipeline too - is remotely comparable?  Secondly, 200k an inch-mile?  Google "natural gas pipeline cost inch".  I see $30k-$100k per inch mile is the long term trend, and that prices on the order of $200k were just a temporary blip due to a steel shortage.  They show post-blip figures at  around $60k per inch mile.  Aka, $5m per mile, aka, $1,75B.

            You were saying?

            Anyway, good night!

            Já þýðir já. Nei þýðir nei. Hvað er svona erfitt við það?

            by Rei on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 03:47:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i'm still going to be correct on the costs. (0+ / 0-)

              and that's the end of the story. Your analysis that "the steel costs this much" is lacking a whole lot of other factors that go into the building of anything. "It's going to Cost A Lot" does not translate to "Don't Build it" by the way.

              let's come back to this in five years, when we get a beta release?

              Thanks for the Glenn Greenwald-style "scathing" debate now typical of the progressive sphere.

              (if you're the same person who was arguing at Stop and Move, you never did respond to Alon Levy's comment. Again, if Musk has found a magic way to make civil engineering super cheap, the rest of us would love to see how he  did it.)

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex. tropical weather season is here

              by terrypinder on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 04:17:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Indeed, there is only an energy efficiency ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrypinder

                ... estimate for operation, there isn't any energy efficiency estimate for the infrastructure.

                But the cost of all that steel itself could go either up or down if we transition to a carbon-neutral system, depending on whether we either (1) develop a carbon-neutral method of making iron from iron ore or (2) dramatically increase our steel recycling rate, increasing the effective share of steel produced from recycled steel in electric-arc smelters.

                If we accomplish either of those, it may be that the energy efficiency offered by an evacuated tube transport system will justify adopting it for some routes as the energy inefficiency of air transport makes it increasingly impractical, especially for the shorter air routes which are intrinsically less energy efficient than longer routes.

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                by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:13:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Regarding this point ... (0+ / 0-)
          In what manner is a hard vaccuum, maglev, full-size train project remotely like a soft vacuum, air cushion, minitrain project?
          If the former can be trialed, then a soft-vacuum Maglev mini-train project could clearly be pursued as a development offshoot ...

          ... and might indeed be pursued even if the hard vacuum, maglev, full-sized train cannot be brought to the trial stage ...

          ... since the reduction from a hard vacuum to a soft vacuum and the move from a full size longer-time occupancy train to a short-time occupancy minitrain are both substantial easing of design requirements.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:18:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And "weight several hundred times as much" ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... pretends that the tube itself is weightless, when it is the heavier part of the system by far.

          So you are comparing the heavier part of the weight carried by an HSR pylon to the lighter part of the weight carried by a Hyperloop pylon.

          You may be a fan of numbers, but you do not appear to be a fan of fair comparisons.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:20:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And as far as the tunnel costs ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... its interesting that you are silent Alon Levy's critique on that, which is the small increment in cost of tunneling as we go from the passenger-only version to the substantially wider diameter passenger+car version.

          If we apply the exponential on cost that Elon Musk's project does to that increase in diameter to the increase in diameter to a full sized train tunnel, we arrive at a cost much lower than the actual cost of the full-size train tunnel.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:23:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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