Musk says the sealed capsules that are part of the Hyperloop transportation system will carry 28 passengers each, traveling along the interior of the tube and departing about every 2 minutes from Los Angeles or San Francisco.
The proposal for the Hyperloop has stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco with other stops planned along the way. The majority of the route, Musk says, will follow California's I-5 through the Central Valley, with the tube constructed in the median.
Just as airplanes climb to high altitudes to travel through less dense air, the Hyperloop encloses the capsules in a reduced pressure tube. The pressure of air in the Hyperloop is about one-sixth that of the atmosphere on Mars, reducing the drag force of the air by 1,000 times relative to sea level conditions, and would be equivalent to flying above 150,000 feet altitude.
The Hyperloop capsules will travel at a proposed 760 mph.
This tube is made of steel, with two tubes welded together in a side-by-side configuration to allow the capsules to travel in both directions. Pylons placed every 100 feet will support the tube, with solar arrays covering the top of the tubes to provide power to the system.
Linear accelerators are constructed along the length of the tube at various locations to accelerate the capsules. Stators are located on the capsules to transfer momentum to the capsules via the linear accelerators.
This diagram released Monday shows the compressor schematic for a passenger plus vehicle capsule.
The main Hyperloop route consists of a partially evacuated cylindrical tube that connects the Los Angeles and San Francisco stations in a closed loop system. The tube is specifically sized for optimal air flow around the capsule, improving performance and energy consumption at the expected travel speed.