Underground Hyperloop on way in New York and Washington DC

20 Jul 2017

New York City. Image: TTstudio/Shutterstock

Elon Musk claims his company has received approval for an underground Hyperloop between New York and Washington DC.

Fresh from revelations of European networks of ultra-fast rail systems, Hyperloop is going underground in the US.

That’s according to Elon Musk, owner of the wonderfully named The Boring Company, which is behind the latest development.

Future Human

Musk today (20 July) said he has received “verbal government approval” for his company to build an underground Hyperloop network connecting New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

As fast as it gets

The full trip from New York to Washington DC, according to Musk, will take less than half an hour.

The Boring Company is one of Musk’s more recent endeavours, with several tests and trials already underway.

Musk has opened up the whole Hyperloop project to other companies, claiming he hasn’t the time to deliver the full concept given his other business efforts, notably Tesla and SpaceX.

For example, while SpaceX held the first Hyperloop challenge for engineers on its purpose-built test track earlier this year, private companies such as Hyperloop One have begun discussions with various governments about possibly bringing routes to their countries.

Hyperloop One is the same company that, earlier this year, revealed plans for a New York to Washington DC route. It’s not clear yet if Musk’s revelations are connected to that.

European adventure

Last month, Hyperloop One revealed nine proposed routes that could criss-cross Europe. It hopes individuals, universities, companies and governments can help bring these to fruition as part of its Global Challenge.

The routes would connect more than 75m people in 44 cities, spanning 5,000km.

The longest proposed route would stretch a distance just short of 2,000km in Germany, linking many of the country’s major cities, including Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Hamburg.

The second longest, at 1,060km, would cover much of the UK. Starting in Glasgow, it would make its way to Edinburgh, down the east coast and through the midlands, before winding around London and across to Cardiff.

The only course that would leave the confines of Europe would be the 629km route linking Spain with Morocco in North Africa, starting in Madrid and ending in Tangier.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic