THE MAN behind Paypal and Tesla Motors is today due to publish designs for the world’s fastest rail service, named Hyperloop.
Elon Musk has until now kept enthusiasts guessing about the details of his “fifth form of transport,” which could one day offer supersonic inter-city travel.
The billionaire entrepreneur said in May that the idea was shaping up to be “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table”.
Musk has hinted that the scheme will be based on the magnetic levitation principle used in Japan’s bullet trains, currently the world’s fastest form of land transportation with a top speed of around 310mph.
He has also said that Hyperloop will operate in a low-friction tube, but not in a vacuum.
Musk hopes to make obsolete the state of California’s $69bn plan to build a high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which he has derided as “the slowest bullet train in the world at enormous cost”.
However, the blueprint is unlikely to make it beyond the drawing board for the foreseeable future.
Musk said on a Tesla Motors earnings call last week he has no intention to build or fund Hyperloop himself – he is merely publishing an open source design in the hope that others will refine and eventually realise the idea.