Originally Posted by EniGma1987
I think someone should build a couple hyperloop's on the 60, 10, and 210 freeways out of LA and into the riverside area. That would free up so much space on the freeways and let people have a lot more time to do stuff in their day. It seems like half the population of southern California spends 3-5 hours each weekday just sitting in traffic on those freeways. Start the project off small by just replacing the Metrolink with a hyperloop. More capacity and more speed.
Trains along the 210/10...doesn't metrolink have that? Along the 60, no, but what about 91? Trains exist, people dislike them or don't find them convinient enough. Is it because trains are slow, or because not many people live close to those stations? ("close" is a bit distorted in SoCal).
I use Metrolink, I know it could be a tad faster (I still beat my average car commute to downtown by 20-25%), but more capacity? For whom? Yes, sometimes is packed, but most times it is not.
High-speed rail projects - much like the Concorde or any other very fast transportation mean that physically carries people - gets limited to the number of stations/stops you have between start/end destinations.
Trains need time to accelerate to speed in a way comfortable for the passengers, spending a lot of energy due to their high mass (that's a given). Every time you are decelerating for a stop - which also needs to be done gradually - most (if you have some recapturing device) or all (if you don't) of this kinetic energy you've built up gets wasted and ofc the average speed for the trip gets diminished.
At the end, having a train that can hit 200mph, vs. one that does 120mph vs. one that does 85 mph, yields more and more similar average speeds for trips with frequent stops.
This is why you don't see high speed trains making requent stops, but you see them running from urban centers to urban centers - that's the believable part of Musk's plan has to say "LA-SF" or "LA-NY". Some drop the "LA-LV". Hyperloop within urban/suburban cannot happen easily: who gets to have the station? Who will be responsible for parking the 1000s of cars for the daily commuters - should this transport thing is a hit? And how much is the price of the ticket for that to be viable? Will it be a public service @ cost, or a private investment that requests fast and easy payback of the initial cost? Surely it won't be $190 a month (Metrolink).
What you are asking for, is a subway. Subways exist, and the most successful examples are pretty dense. There is no "room" between stations for trains to accelerate @ hyperloop speeds and having people standing / walking in them, and where subways are viable, there is a high demand for them - people swarm in. You cannot have enough seats to strap them in as if in a roller coaster - even if that was acceptable. Having more frequent trains to do that, is not an answer. Even with current subway speeds, it takes effort to coordinate them safely. Imagine having back to back trains doing multiple times subway train speeds...scary, but even if you could control the whole thing perfectly, the whole passenger loading / strapping procedure would be much like in a theme park, and still would be tough to beat average people moved per minute vs. a subway system that people just "walk in/out" by the 100s**.
Then its the density issue again. Who will close enough to walk there? Who will be close enough to ride a bus? Do bus lines exist? Will that be the weak link now? Will they have to drive to the place? With freeways? Do we have enough on/off ramps to take them on and off the freeway fast and safely, or will we over-stress the existing system, simply transposing the reason traffic builds up on the 5 and the 10 and the 210 or w/e? And then, where will we put all these "transient-commuting" cars once they get there?
You cannot have efficient mass transit - with bullet trains, airplanes, hyperloops, subways, buses or w/e without central hubs. The SoCal urban sprawl is modeled after the "each having his own car" model, and it cannot change unless people move closer together.**EDIT: The Hyperloop "manifesto" states 840 pasengers / hour as its proposed throughoutput.
Stations will be loading 6-module-trains (6x28 passengers/module = 168 ppl @ train) in 5 minutes.
All in all, it is AMAZING that people are thinking about those stuff seriously - I don't claim they don't do so.
There are serious issues with implementing all these though, especially in a ill-thinking, litigation driven society, and along with some over-simplifications in pricing things, the public sentiment is pushed irrationally out of plumb.
With Musk's reasoning, the iphone costs $150 give or take to the public - material cost and basic licencing - through Samsung's extravagant licencing fees, make it $160...
This is nice and all - I love socialism - but I prefer it when rich people are generous with their own money.Edited by pcfoo - 8/14/13 at 8:55am