Hyperloop For Queensland A “Ludicrous Pipe Dream”

Hyperloop One

Image: Hyperloop One

Queenslanders now have a good idea of what their government thinks of the hyperloop transportation concept as a cure for traffic woes on the M1.

Travelling between the Gold Coast and Brisbane on the M1 can be frustrating at the best of times during peak periods. When there’s an incident, traffic snarls can be horrendous. On Monday, a truck lost its load of beer bottles, resulting in a 20km long traffic jam.

A new possible solution to the M1 problem has been informally tabled – hyperloop.

What Is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a transport solution under development in the USA consisting of large tubes operating under low air pressure, through which magnetically-levitated pods carrying freight or passengers would travel. Its proponents says the reduced air resistance within the tube would enable speeds of 1,000 kilometres per hour plus and at much greater efficiency in terms of energy use than other forms of transportation.

The idea of a hyperloop-type transportation system was first proposed many years ago, and the modern concept was floated by Tesla and SpaceX. Their Hyperloop white paper (PDF) suggested the surface above the tubes could be lined with solar panels to provide the required electricity to run the system.

More Join The Hyperloop Party

Tesla/SpaceX/Elon Musk aren’t the only ones pursuing and evangelising the hyperloop concept. Another start-up, Hyperloop-One, aims to have operational systems by 2021. Among Hyperloop One’s directors is Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson.

Here’s a video of a test of Hyperloop One last year, complete with the these-days-obligatory funky music that’s way too loud.

As for what will provide the energy for Hyperloop One, the team isn’t really fussed.

“We’re energy-agnostic. Our system can draw power from whichever energy sources are available along the route. If that means solar and wind, then the entire system is 100% carbon free.”

An Impressed Liberal

Earlier this month, Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment Steven Ciobo, visited Hyperloop One’s Los Angeles headquarters and was impressed by what he saw.

“It could be a solution to the traffic nightmare that is congestion between the Gold Coast and Brisbane,” he said, stating the idea warranted further exploration. The full interview can be found here.

A Not So Impressed Queensland Government

To say the Queensland Government was scathing of the idea would be kind. You could just about visualise Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey frothing at the mouth when reacting. 

“Deb Frecklington needs to reject this ludicrous pipe dream proposed by her colleagues in Canberra and back our sensible plan to boost rail and road capacity for the people of the Gold Coast,” he said. “Minister Ciobo should land his spaceship in Queensland and back Cross River Rail – a real project in a real state in the real world.”

Sir Richard might need to step in and smooth things over. Perhaps another Elon Musk-type offer?

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Rod Oliver says:

    I have sola panels , but the whole system relies on the Power inverter, the first one lasted about three years , the second one was “free” and lasted 1&1/2 years , and now out of warranty a new one is $990 ,I’m not sure they will charge for installation , so the whole system has cost me in the 5years since being installed will be 3 thousand dollars I am starting to feel ripped off by

    :1 the government power grid , give 7cents a kilowatt and charge 29cents a kilowatt
    2 the solar companies because the inverts aren’t capable of more than three years service

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