Originally Posted by Mad Pistol
I actually had this idea years ago...
"You" had this idea? Well, guess "great minds" think the same, as these ideas of vactrains have been published for some time now...
As of the billions of calculations in nanoseconds...well, not really an issue...we have the compute power to do it, actually pretty easily. It is a mechanical issue, not a computational one.
Plus a closed system - which a low-pressure mag-lev tube train is as close as it can get in the transportation realm - is far easier to control than venturing into space with a shuttle.
As of the vast energy requirements - thats what we have now too...what limits a mag-lev train @ 500km/h is friction. Most of the energy spent is in friction due to aerodynamics and ofc that minimal by comparison contact with the track system that holds the train in place, esp when turning.
Outside of the insane "embodied" energy and insane production costs for producing such a high precision track that spans for 100s of 1000s of miles, a supersonic maglev train inside a vaccum or low-pressure tube will be consuming roughly the same energy when moving @ top speeds as the regular maglev in atmospheric conditions.
At any rate, we have conventional trains that can work with the existing infrastructure that can do a good % of any maglev tech, for far less initial cost and goverments / developers ingore it for decades. Hyperloops are thus a publicity trick imho.