Where it began; It all began with Elon Musk, CEO & CTO of SpaceX and the CEO of the more earthly Tesla Motors; and less I forget the founder of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and Pay Pal. Back in August of this year Elon Musk revealed his plans for a novel form of transportation that would run between the LA area and the SF bay area. Apparently he was disappointed with the approved California High Speed Rail so offered a subsonic air travel machine that would offer a 30 minute travel time for a cheaper cost than any existing or planned form of travel. The main thought behind it was the dismissal of aerodynamic drag due to a partial vacuum. All the energy for the required power would originate as solar energy.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a company organized by Dr. Marco Villa formerly of SpaceX and Dr. Patricia Galloway, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers is operating with rather thin financials but is embracing crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to get things started. So far the company has already achieved the necessary operations plan and also established key partnerships that will, should the money be gained, help them reach their goal.
Reaching top speeds of 800mph for an estimated yearly passenger draw of 15 million with the transport between its distant terminals taking all of a half an hour, the Hyperloop is a really exceptional alternative to open and above ground high speed trains. At present sites are being reviewed for a somewhat smaller model (1/10th the size) where engineering tests can commence. At present they are hoping to begin that portion of work next spring.
Elon Musk has certainly passed the gauntlet on to a group that seems determined to bring us the goods. -The fact that one of them comes from SpaceX originally hints at the quality and exceptional end product that we may expect.