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Will Elon Musk's Top-Secret 'Hyperloop' Put California's High-Speed Rail Out of Business?

Will Elon Musk's Top-Secret 'Hyperloop' Put California's High-Speed Rail Out of Business?
Flickr/Irargerich

Will technology billionaire Elon Musk put California high-speed rail out of business?

Musk, the co-founder of Tesla Motors and founder of SpaceX, says he'll release plans for the top-secret "Hyperloop" train in August. The techno pioneer says it will transport passengers between L.A. and San Francisco in 30 minutes.

California transportation officials, who have yet to break ground for the long-awaited, ultra-expensive high-speed rail line, must be getting nervous.

Musk has said that he was inspired by California's high-speed rail project -- but wanted to do it better and at less cost. The billionaire described that project as the "slowest bullet train in the world, and the most expensive per mile."

The high-speed train will cost an estimated $69 billion, probably have cost overruns and will move people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in a little under three hours.

Musk, though, wants to build a train system that he's described as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table" -- and will apparently shoot people from San Francisco to L.A. in less than 60 minutes.

If the billionaire pulls it off, the Hyperloop undoubtedly will affect the state's passenger base for its high-speed line -- and turn that train into a $69 billion turkey.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Patrick Range McDonald on Twitter at @PRMcDonald.


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