The Hyperloop was the fifth mode of transportation. It was a new mode of transport similar to a train.
The train, as we know it today, came into existence with a railway from Liverpool to Manchester in England in the 1800s. The first commercial steam locomotive was Stephenson's Rocket on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Multiple pipes were used for the boiler to heat water faster. A funnel was used to increase efficiency even more. The steam locomotive became the dominant locomotive on railways. The fastest steam locomotive in 1904 was City of Truro on the Great Western Railway. This locomotive went 102.4 mph in 1904 from Plymouth to Bristol. In the 1920s, there was the problem of aerodynamics. The first streamliner class was the A4 class, owned by the London & North Eastern Railway. The fastest was Mallard, the fastest steam locomotive ever. Mallard went 126.4 mph. However, in the 1940s and 1950s, diesel and electric locomotives replaced steam locomotives.
High-speed trains emerged in the 1960s. The first high-speed train was the Shinkansen. To absorb the side-to-side motion of the wheels on the track, springs and shock absorbers were installed onto the bogies. The French TGV solved another problem. The bogies were placed in between the coaches. In-cab signalling replaced conventional signalling. The faster AGV could go 360 km/hr. Therefore, in-cab signalling was important. The AGV also had automatic brakes. Throughout the world, maglev trains were being studied and some came online. They would become more common eventually, but, at the same time, there was a competitor called the hyperloop.
Tech Level: 10-11
The hyperloop was a concept proposed by Elon Musk in 2013. It involved a pressurized capsule moving through a partial vacuum. An air compressor transferred high pressure air from front to rear. The capsules floated on air provided by air-bearing skis. Batteries in the back powered the cabin in the middle. Linear induction motors accelerated and decelerated the capsules along the route. To maintain aerodynamic efficiency, the speed was 760 mph, very close to speed of sound. When California's High Speed Rail system started in 2022, it proved to be a disappointment. It was then, after a demonstration of the hyperloop which had occurred in 2014, that the main line of the hyperloop from San Francisco to Los Angeles was completed. Overtime, the hyperloop expanded to into a big network across the entire United States, Canada, and Mexico. As advances in vacuum technology arrived, there was trouble. With a full vacuum, air-bearing skis did not work, so the vactrain took its place.