As Hyperloop Ramps up, Land Rights and Regulation Remain Massive Obstacles
Hyperloop might be the brain-child of Elon Musk, but the mad genius (and possible real-life Tony Stark) left the technology open for others to come in and help make it a reality. The vision of a high-speed transportation system for people and cargo is sure to shake things up, but first it has to get over hurdles that many other innovators have encountered. Earlier this week, a company by the name of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies filed a permit to construct a 5-mile stretch of track for its high-speed prototype in the location of Quay Valley. The place is unique in that it is a proposed eco-friendly community that will play test-bed for Hyperloop prototypes. RELATED: CEO Promises Working Hyperloop by End of 2016
But as Gizmodo points out, while everyone was fawning over (and occasionally attempting to poke holes in) the 600-mph infrastructure vision of the future, few stopped to consider what is a concern for every major transportation or intermodal plan...land rights. If you are going to build an entirely new high-speed line from San Fransisco to Los Angeles, land rights are going to be come up with every mile of track (or elevated tube) you want to build. As typical of any project like this, the “Not-In-My-Back-Yard” (NIMBY) movement in the propose ares will surely take shape in response.
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The post cites Josh Stephens of the California Planning & Development Report, who pointed out, “Trains, whether propelled by steam, diesel, or a frictionless tube, are still terrestrial things. And what terra we have in California.” He continued, “The very same mountains, cities, canals, farmers, and habitats that complicate [High Speed Rail] also complicate Hyperloop.”
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There has been a growing chorus of those who are excited about the technology of Hyperloop, but know its two greatest obstacles–land rights and regulation–are massive. One solution to land rights is to run the tubes either underground or underwater. The truth is, it will probably be some combination of all three. As for regulation? That remains to be seen.