Home News Smart Cities 15 remarkable images that show the 200-year evolution of the Hyperloop

15 remarkable images that show the 200-year evolution of the Hyperloop

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A 1974 concept painting of a vacuum train. Flickr/x-ray_delta_one

In 2013, Elon Musk, the famed entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla and Space X, came up with an idea for a vacuum-and-maglev-powered super-fast train that would travel through a tube. It would be called the Hyperloop.

In a research paper, he outlined its potential and challenged other tech companies to develop it for commercialization. Two startups, Shervin Pishevar’s Hyperloop One and Dirk Ahlborn’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are perhaps the closest to making the Hyperloop a reality. Though it’s still a moonshot project.

In July 2017, Musk revealed that he’s working on his own system, tweeting that he “received verbal government approval” to build stops in Washington, DC and New York City. And on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that his tunneling startup, the Boring Company, gained an “early and vague building permit from DC for excavation experimentation in a parking lot.

But Musk is not the first person to suggest air pressure-driven transportation. As io9 notes, the concept behind the Hyperloop originated in the late 17th century with the invention of the world’s first artificial vacuum, which led to designs for “underground rapid transit systems” powered by pneumatics (i.e. pressurized air) in the decades that followed.

Take a look at a brief history of the technology that led to Musk’s Hyperloop.

In 1799, inventor George Medhurst proposed an idea to move goods through cast-iron pipes using air pressure. In 1844, he built a railway station (for passenger carriages) in London that relied on pneumatics until 1847.

In 1799, inventor George Medhurst proposed an idea to move goods through cast-iron pipes using air pressure. In 1844, he built a railway station (for passenger carriages) in London that relied on pneumatics until 1847.

The Brunel Jolly-sailor railway station and pumping station, 1845.WIkipedia Commons

Source: io9

Throughout the mid-1850s, several more pneumatic railways were built in Dublin, London, and Paris. The London Pneumatic Despatch system was meant to transport parcels, but it was large enough to carry people, too. To mark its opening, the Duke of Buckingham traveled through it in 1865.

Throughout the mid-1850s, several more pneumatic railways were built in Dublin, London, and Paris. The London Pneumatic Despatch system was meant to transport parcels, but it was large enough to carry people, too. To mark its opening, the Duke of Buckingham traveled through it in 1865.

Air Tube Systems UK

Around that time, French novelist Jules Verne published “Paris in the 20th Century,” which envisioned tube trains stretching across the Atlantic Ocean.

In the mid-1860s, South London constructed the Crystal Palace atmospheric railway, which ran through a park. A fan, which measured 22 feet in diameter, propelled the train. On return journeys, the fan’s blades reversed, sucking the carriage backwards.

In the mid-1860s, South London constructed the Crystal Palace atmospheric railway, which ran through a park. A fan, which measured 22 feet in diameter, propelled the train. On return journeys, the fan's blades reversed, sucking the carriage backwards.

Wikipedia Commons

The Beach Pneumatic Transit, which operated in Manhattan from 1870 to 1873, was New York City’s earliest subway predecessor. Designed by Alfred Ely Beach, it had one stop and a one-car shuttle that used compressed air to move riders.

The Beach Pneumatic Transit, which operated in Manhattan from 1870 to 1873, was New York City's earliest subway predecessor. Designed by Alfred Ely Beach, it had one stop and a one-car shuttle that used compressed air to move riders.

Museum of the City of New York

Source: The Atlantic

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