Elon Musk has been planning on building a tunnel which will serve as a hyperloop chamber for ultra fast tubes to run from one part of the United States to the other. The idea was first conceived by the entrepreneur back in 2012, but at that time it was primarily considered an above-ground tube train service which would be able to reach speeds of 700mph. However, on Thursday, July 20, Musk tweeted that he had received verbal government approval for moving forward with an underground Hyperloop project.

Verbal government approval for underground Hyperloop project

Elon Musk is known to tweet about various technological advancements and projects which his company SpaceX or the Boring Company may be undertaking. However, Thursday’s tweet regarding the receiving of government approval, albeit verbal, for the underground Hyperloop project, surprised many of his fans. In the tweet, he also mentioned that the Hyperloop would be connecting New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. Musk added that the journey from New York to Washington will take 29 minutes in the Hyperloop.

Later Musk added that a lot of work still remained before the project would be given formal government approval, but it was his belief that the project would move forward rapidly.

However, Musk’s tweets on Thursday regarding the Hyperloop left a lot more questions than it answered. For instance, he never mentioned which government agency had cleared the project verbally. He also gave no indication as to when the construction or work for this Hyperloop project may begin.

How the Hyperloop train would work

Engineers who will work on the project will look to propel the tube through the tunnel at speeds of around 700mph, using an electric motor and magnetic levitation technology in a vacuum environment. The tube is accelerated using electric propulsion in the low pressure chamber. The pod will eventually leave the surface of the track and will levitate.

This will allow it to fly at airline like speeds.

The route of the Hyperloop as detailed by Musk shows that it will follow the conventional route which is followed by Amtrak trains ferrying passengers between New York and the Capital. The Hyperloop tube will also stop at every city center along the way similar to ordinary trains. Musk has also revealed that the tunnel will have at least a dozen elevators at every station where the tube will stop, ensuring that a queue does not form at these places.

The Hyperloop has already cleared its first public testing back in summer of 2016 where it managed to cruise to speeds of 70mph. The company is now looking to reach speeds of 250mph in the next phase. However, people will likely have to wait for some time before the Hyperloop becomes operational.