Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Speeding Towards Reality?

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, made it quite clear in August of 2013 when he wrote his white paper detailing his plans to send us hurtling through tubes at nearly 800 mph that he just didn’t have time to take on the project. However, as reported by Alex Davies of Wired earlier today, many answered the call of the hyperloop and it appears as though construction on the first prototype “track” could begin as early as next year.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies makes announcement

The release of Musk’s paper in the late summer of 2013 coincided with the beta-launch of the hybrid crowdfunding and crowd-sourcing site JumpStartFund. JumpStartFund was responsible for the founding of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) by JumpStartFund. The latter claims that it has multiple sources of funding in addition to a number of engineers from NASA, Tesla, Boeing and other companies willing to work on the hyperloop in their spare time in exchange for stock options in the company.

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According to HTT today, the company now has a “core team working on the full scale Hyperloop [that] has now surpassed 400 professionals.” Perhaps more importantly, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies also announced that is has signed agreements to work with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and global engineering design firm Aecom.

“It’s a validation of the fact that our model works,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, earlier today. “It’s the next step,” he added.

Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum Responds to hyperlink statement

“I don’t think the construction hurdles are significant compared to other technologies that are already out there,” Carl Brockmeyer, Oerlikon’s head of business development, told Davies at Wired. “From a technical point of view, it’s not a challenge. We are used to much higher and harsher applications.”

He added: “I thought, ‘Traveling in a vacuum tube? This is something we should be involved in.’”

Hyperlink groundbreaking next year?

Given the promised financing as well as the announced partnerships between the aforementioned companies should see the construction of a fully-functional, passenger ready prototype begin sometime next year. Where? The Quay Valley. Don’t get upset with yourself if you’ve never heard of the Quay Valley, most haven’t. The Quay Valley is a planned “bedroom” community that will be built along the Interstate 5 corridor midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The planned prototype is expected to provide a ride of five miles or “no time flat” if they can design it to Musk’s specifications.