A large section of the first full-sized Hyperloop test track has been completed at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
Video and pictures posted by our friends at Hyperloop One show the first complete sections of the company’s test track. The Hyperloop hardly looks futuristic; instead it appears to be just any other large pipeline supported on concrete posts. It reminds me of the giant water pipelines that cross parts of the California desert.
A video shows a crane installing the giant pipes while workers install them. Some of the pictures also show the vacuum Hyperloop One is using to remove air from the pipes. The vacuum is housed in what looks like a plastic tent.
The test line or DevLoop is now about 500 meters or yards long, but it is supposed to extend for a mile (1.6 kilometers) across the desert, Elektek reported. None of the pictures online looks that futuristic or that different from any other construction site I have seen recently.
Hyperloop is For Real
That’s actually pretty exciting because it shows us that both Hyperloop and Hyperloop One are for real. The system is being built with off the shelf technology and time-tested techniques which brings it far closer to reality.
All Hyperloop One needs now is vehicles to run through the tube to start testing. I imagine those are coming soon with help from Space X’s Pod contest. We should be getting a glimpse of the vehicles soon because Hyperloop One CEO, Rob Lloyd has promised us a “Kitty Hawk moment” this Spring which means he has a working prototype.
That means we see testing, including tests with human passengers this spring which is very exciting. Such testing will be necessary to convince governments and venture capitalists to finance Hyperloop.
Such testing might also spur competitors to start deploying their technology. That will be the moment when commercialization of Hyperloop really begins.