on air now

Melbourne-Geelong in 10 minutes? Maybe more than a pipe dream…


Melbourne to Geelong in 10 minutes.

Melbourne to Sydney in 90 minutes.

And not in plane.

It sounds like science fiction, and it’s certainly many years from becoming a reality, but it’s a form of transport that’s being seriously investigated and spruiked.

It’s called the Hyperloop, and it’s being developed by a transportation and technology start-up based in Los Angeles.

The system involves pods, which hold 18 to 28 passengers, magnetically levitated within a depressurised tube environment.

The pods are lifted off the track and propelled electrically at speeds of 1000 kilometres per hour.

Sara Luchian, a director at Hyperloop One, said the technology is not far away.

Hyperloop plans to launch its first full passenger operation in the late 2020s, most likely in India.

“This absolutely can happen and we’re going to make it happen,” Ms Luchian told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

Hyperloop won’t be prohibitively expensive, either.

“We recently published a study that indicated that the linear infrastructure would cost 30 to 40 per cent less than high speed rail,” Ms Luchian said.

“We have a narrower footprint than high speed rail.

“Our tubes and our vehicles are narrower, they’re smaller, they take up less space.”

The company sees a potential market in Australia, with a route linking Melbourne and Sydney set in its sights.

“We’re very interested in the interest we’ve been getting from Australia,” Ms Luchian said.

“One of the things that I’ve been hearing about is just the lack of good options between certain cities.”

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Sara was in Australia to address the Mercedes Me ‘Know the Future’ series