High-speed rail in the United States has long been a project that’s “just on the horizon.” As it is, the only vehicle resembling a high-speed train in the States is Amtrak’s Acela service. The Acela can reach speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. That sounds good, at least until you look at how it operates. It only works in a few states along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and is rather expensive, with tickets starting at over $250 for a business class route between New York City, and Boston, Massachusetts, and upwards of $400 for a first class ticket. The Acela is capable of going fast, but in actuality, travels much slower. For example, that trip from New York City to Boston takes roughly four hours on an Acela train, almost the same time it takes to drive the distance. It may be rail travel, but it’s hardly high speed.
Enter the Hyperloop, an Elon Musk-backed idea for a high-speed train that could rocket occupants at speeds of upwards of 750 miles per hour. The first planned “loop” of the Hyperloop would be a 350 mile loop between Los Angeles and San Francisco. That idea was hatched back in the halcyon days of 2012. So where is Hyperloop in the development cycle? As with most things Elon Musk-related, the answer isn’t very clearcut.
All hype, no loop
In short, there is no existing Hyperloop between Los Angeles and San Francisco and there has not been any real progress on the project, aside from a mile-long tunnel from the Boring Company that some Teslas would lazily glide through. The tunnel itself was placed along Northrup Avenue in Hawthorne, California, with another in Las Vegas. That was about as far as any Elon-backed Hyperloop project came. That tunnel has been turned into a parking lot for SpaceX employees. According to a report from Bloomberg in November of last year, the project has been shelved for now. And given Elon Musk’s propensity to make lofty claims with a dubious track record. it will likely stay in development purgatory for quite sometime instead of being outright canceled.
However, SlashGear has covered other projects bearing the Hyperloop moniker in the past. But those projects have also not seen the light of day apart from concept sketches and early rounds of funding. Right now, in 2023, there is no Hyperloop or Hyperloop-like transportation system zipping along the rails of America at high speeds.
In April of last year, Elon tweeted that his Boring Company will build Hyperloop “in coming years.” Granted, this was mere months before Musk bought Twitter, and anyone who has spent even a modicum of time online knows that Musk has been “distracted” as of late, to put it lightly.