Pretty much every backpacker who visits Australia will visit Sydney and Melbourne, often flying between the two. That could be about to change with the proposed introduction of a high-speed train that would cut the journey to 55 minutes.
The technology is called Hyperloop, developed by billionaire Elon Musk, head of Tesla and SpaceX. It uses magnetic pods to shuttle passengers through vacuum tubes at up to nearly the speed of sound – 1,200 km/h (745mph).
Yes, it’s a bit like in Futurama. But not really.
It’s still a concept, but Hyperloop One (one of the teams working to make the tech a reality) is ‘very keen to explore the potential for doing proof of operations in Australia,’ according to Dr Alan James, vice-president for worldwide business development in passenger systems.
‘The reason for that is there’s a clear long-term need for ultra-fast transport on the Australian east coast,’ said Dr James in an interview with The Australian. ‘Melbourne to Sydney is the third busiest air corridor in the world and we can give you Melbourne downtown to Sydney downtown in 55 minutes.’
A flight currently takes somewhere around 90 minutes.
Hyperloop technology has been open-sourced, so different teams are working on designs and concepts in a race to make it a reality. It would certainly have huge implications for travel all over the world, cutting journey times in places like the UK to mere minutes.