Hyperloop One, an innovative high-speed transportation company, believes it can connect Sydney and Melbourne by railway in just under an hour, essentially creating one global megacity. The company met with a federal parliamentary committee for the first time this week, to open discussions with the government and appeal for support.
Based on Elon Musk’s hyperloop concept, the high speed railway would run along a magnetic track, reaching speeds of more than 1000km/h. While high speed railways have been a hot topic in Australia for years, Hyperloop One Vice President, Alan James, believes the company has the power to make it a reality due to its technological advances and overall faster speed.
“We’ll make Sydney and Melbourne really connected to each other… If you connect two cities with Hyperloop, you get, effectively, a sort of global city punching above its weight in a global economy, which is a really competitive advantage. You get that sort of conglomeration, you get more productive jobs and companies, really big macroeconomic impact,” said James.
The project has faced a fair share of scepticism, especially after prominent engineer and blogger Alan Levy claimed a trip from Melbourne to Sydney would equate to an hour-long roller coaster ride. But US-based levitation engineer, Casey Handmer, argues this simply isn’t true, and the engineering team is constantly working on new technology to improve the experience.
“The job of engineers is to hide all that so you just feel natural. We’re going to try and make it incredibly quick, but in terms of the ride experience, it’s probably as boring as riding a lift or an escalator.”
Hyperloop One doesn’t just face critics, but competition too. Australian company CLARA is also proposing a high speed railway along Australia’s east coast, but Hyperloop One is confident. For now, the race is on.