Elon Musk, entrepreneur and founder of the Tesla motor company and SpaceX recently proposed a transportation system he calls the hyperloop. He proposes a tube to stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The pods inside are to travel at 700 miles an hour and make the trip in a half an hour.
I have read about a number of problems that appear to be physical, financial and political.
The problem I see is different. The physical problems appear to be related to the levels of acceleration and deceleration in the tube. The propulsion system is a linear magnet in a near vacuum. Apparently humans get sick very easily at G forces much about 1.5. This would present a number of problems including very large turning radii for the many turns on the route. The financial problems relate to the cost of constructing the system and making it efficient by taking it into the downtown of both the cities on each end. Musk has said his system could use the right-of-way above existing freeways. How much that would reduce the cost is not clear to me or anyone else.
The political problem is also serious because California is building a high-speed railway that is costing an outrageous number of $ billions and will not work very well. It is consuming all transportation funds for this SF-LA corridor.
The hyperloop strikes me as having a much more serious problem. The pods are designed to carry a couple of dozen people and to travel at very close intervals.
In Japan the high-speed rails travel at rates of 5 minutes apart and subways safely travel at 1 minute separations. In America the high-speed rail underground systems travel at best at 5 minute intervals. On the surface they are 10 minutes apart at top speed.
Which is to say that Americans are only able to run a high-speed rail system at a multiple of the safe distance of the Japanese. Therefore I conclude that the hyperloop pods could not travel any closer together than five-minute intervals. That would allow for transportation at the rate of several hundred passengers per hour.
An operational waste. Several hundred passengers per hour is something that one airplane is capable of achieving. An airplane does it at a tiny fraction of the cost since the system is already in place. Dozens of airplanes make the trip every hour from multiple Bay Area airports to multiple LA airports.
The hyperloop is flawed.