Actually, low-pressure pneumatic systems are cheap and easy. Pneumatic systems are commonly used in industry controls, I’ve used them in HVAC controls. To get a basic pneumatic system working at low pressures, it just take cheap plastic connectors and tubing with an air pump, etc. Pressure is merely the opposite of a vacuum. A pneumatic system is normally designed with a little bleeding air to get it to work correctly, so perfection is not necessary at all, that’s just a straw-man argument. If you expect a perfect vacuum, yes that is a real challenge, but an ideal vacuum is not needed for a train.
Small scale systems are cheap and easy, this is most certainly not small scale.
Since France and Japan and others have high-speed trains, China has a Shanghai Maglev, then that is hard proof that they are viable, and real technology. Straw-man arguments cannot disprove the High speed train technology.
None of those places have high speed trains operating in an evacuated tube like the Hyperloop. The only one making a strawman argument here is you.
“But on Monday he said he’d be willing to build the demonstration project himself, if no one else steps up to do it. While it’s not a top priority for him, he said the prototype could be completed in 3 or 4 years.”
CNN August 13, 2013: 9:43 AM ET: Hyperloop: San Francisco to L.A. in 30 minutes
Musk also thought that he could have the Tesla Roadster into production in only a couple of years after he announced the project. It turned out to take longer than he originally estimated, SpaceX is also slightly behind his original schedule, and neither project had to deal with the kind of political goofballery that something like a high speed train does.
People thought that an electric super-car was impossible,
And what people would those be? Everything I read about it after the car was announced didn’t doubt that it could be done, the question was the long term viability of the cars.
but the Tesla roadster exists.
So do Kaiser-Frazer automobiles, but they eventually went bankrupt. Tesla’s profits do not come from selling cars, but from stock sales and selling government tax credits to other car makers. This doesn’t indicate that Tesla’s doomed, but it should make anyone pause before investing in Tesla. Kaiser-Frazier was selling cars for longer than Tesla’s been around, and they still wound up failing. It is too early to declare Tesla a “success.” Give them a decade of profitable operation first.
People thought that a commercial space launch linking to the International Space Station impractical, but it has happened.
A couple of times, wait until 2020, at least, before declaring that SpaceX is a success. Musk’s goal is to have a thousand launches a year by 2019. Let’s wait and see if he’s able to do it, shall we?
The Maglev train support could really be changing.
Or this could turn out to be like the flying cars we’ve been promised for almost 100 years, and always be at some point in the future. Musk has said that it will be probably five years before he has enough time to think about pushing for the Hyperloop. So far, I haven’t heard of anyone picking up the banner, and Sir Richard Branson, fellow billionaire and friend of Musk, runs a rail line in England hasn’t spoken up, yet. Unless you have someone of the stature of Musk or Branson actively working on the Hyperloop, its not going to be done.