Vehicular road and rail traffic move the most people and products, but are unsustainable in the long term due to their inefficiency and negative impact on the environment. Evacuated tube transport reduces CO2 emissions, pollution and cost considerably as compared to current transportation systems. The magnetically levitated capsules can operate at 1/50 of the energy of even electric cars and high-speed trains. The overall cost can be just 1/10 of rail development and 1/4 of a new freeway project.
The tube transport system, using a tube of just 1.5 m in diameter, can move 94% of all cargo and passengers at very high speeds. The trip between Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands would take less than 7 minutes at the estimated cruising speed of 600 km/h. Because of the high speed and extra efficiency, the cost per kilometer is greatly reduced over traditional transportation. As the distance is increased and speed lowered, the energy cost reduces further.
The system, unlike modern railways, would not schedule runs but instead be demand driven 24 hours per day. Traffic will commence only when the route is set and arrival time is calculated in a conflict-free way. Ticket price can be malleable: a base charge plus a charge varying with time of day and energy use. People, of course, would cost more to transport due to higher priority and life support requirements. Moving cargo would be very cost effective due to its lower priority.
Transportation currently uses over 61% of all the oil used by every industry each year. Rising fuel prices will not affect the evacuated tube transportation costs. With no drag or friction, capsule acceleration energy can be regained during deceleration at the end of a journey. This system has a low environmental impact, is independent on weather conditions, is not disruptive to wildlife and is very economical when it comes to land use.
A 3000 km long system servicing the Netherlands can easily transport 1-2 million passengers daily and over 100 billion ton-km of cargo every year would cost around Euro 10-13 billion plus the cost of the land.
Calculates the cost (in Euro) and performance of an ET3 network given the average distance travelled, length of the network, the expected number of passenger trips per workday and cargo capacity. Use Google Chrome if the graph does not appear.
Last updated: 01 January 2014