President #Donald Trump is starting to pay some attention to the trillion dollar infrastructure scheme, something that it is said will be partially financed by private capital. Trump, a builder in private life, is certainly keen to get the road and bridge repairs started. However, he is said to be interested in high-speed rail, something that has proven to be a boondoggle, particularly in California where it is behind schedule and over budget. But, Elon Musk, the president’s unlikely tech advisor, is telling him about what he thinks is a better idea, the Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop is an idea developed by Musk that involves building tubes between destinations where capsules filled with people and cargo would be propelled by magnets at supersonic speeds. One could commute between, say, Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than an hour. Musk claims that he could build such a hyperloop line for a fraction of the cost of high-speed rail. A number of private groups are already working on the technology with one proposed line between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The idea of shooting between distant cities faster than an airliner is a beguiling one, though not without danger of nausea depending on how many turns are involved. If the idea works, both economically and technically, the Hyperloop could change transportation in ways that are hard to predict.

It is conceivable that at least a prototype Hyperloop line could be built under Trump’s infrastructure scheme, if not in California where rampant environmentalism and corrupt labor unions make it all but impossible to create such projects, then perhaps somewhere else. Houston to Dallas, where a private group is struggling to build a high-speed rail line, is a possibility. Maybe Houston to New Orleans would work as well.

If the prototype Hyperloop line can be made to work, the technology may gradually start to supplant railroads, an obsolete, 19th Century idea in any case, that is just waiting to be consigned to history,

The idea that #Elon Musk and Donald Trump, two men who, albeit of similar expansive visions, are as culturally different as two human beings can be, could make it happen is an only in America story. #high speed rail