The idea of “hyperloop,” first proposed by billionaire and entrepreneur Elon Musk in 2013, offers the possibility of transporting people at speeds faster than high-speed trains or even most commercial airplanes.
Engineers behind the project detail that the tubes for the system could be constructed either under or above the ground, adding that some existing motorways could be transformed for these purposes.
Under the projections, the hyperloop would make it possible to cover the 380-mile distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes.
“Speed is one of the advantages, but it’s not the only one,” Dirk Ahlborn, chief executive of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the two American companies working on project, said. “Building something that has economic sense, that has a good business model behind it, for me, is even more important.”
SNCF has refused to comment on investment into hyperloop, although it did confirm the decision to participate in fundraising for Hyperloop Technologies, France 24 reported. Guillaume Pepy, SNCF chief, last year called the project “far-fetched and visionary,” adding that France is following its development.