Totally Tube-ular

Hello again, FutureFans! It is I, TomorrowLad! This week’s dose of awesome is brought to you in part by the letter P, as in pneumatics!

Pneumatics is a branch of technology that deals with the study and application of pressurized gas to effect mechanical motion.

-Quote courtesy Wikipedia

You may be familiar with pneumatics as those awesome brass tubes full of pressurized air that are used to send interdepartmental messages by some companies. However, it’s not only messages and slips of paper that these tubes can move. Oh no! Why, as early as 1882 people were thinking about how they could be used to move people, as we can see in this illustration from  Albert Robida‘s The Twentieth Century.

Pneumatic Tube Train

"Take the Tube to work!"

Now, a company called ET3 is proposing what they call an “Evacuated Tube Transport” system. Theoretically, this system could take passengers from New York to Beijing in two hours or less or from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes. So much for layovers, bad airline food and ear popping!

How does it work? I am so glad you asked! Quite simply, all you have to do is put a magnetically levitating (maglev) train (full of passengers of course!) in a giant vacuum tube and accelerate the passenger capsules using linear electric motors. How fast is that, really?

Speed in initial ET3 systems is 600km/h (370 mph) for in state trips, and will be developed to 6,500 km/h (4,000 mph) for international travel that will allow passenger or cargo travel from New York to Beijing in 2 hours. ET3 is networked like freeways, except the capsules are automatically routed from origin to destination.

Quote courtesy ET3.com

Tube Train Capsule

All Aboard!

Faster, cheaper and potentially sustainable? Sounds good to me! I always did love to travel by train, although I’d miss being able to look out at the scenery as we pass. Although, at those speeds, I don’t know that the blur outside a theoretical window (digital or otherwise!) would be quite the same.

What think you? Worth it? Or do you prefer instantaneous transport via teleportation?

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Author: TomorrowLad

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