The state of Maryland has granted Elon Musk permission to begin tunneling beneath Baltimore, bringing his radical plans for a high-speed transportation system between New York and Washington D.C. closer to reality.
On Twitter, Maryland governor Larry Hogan revealed the administration supports the construction of a line that would connect Baltimore City to D.C, and said he thinks the Hyperloop is ‘coming to Maryland.’
The state has issued a conditional utility permit for the project, allowing the firm to dig a 10.3 mile tunnel under part of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, according to LA Times.
On Twitter, Maryland governor Larry Hogan revealed the administration supports the construction of a line that would connect Baltimore City to D.C, and said he thinks the Hyperloop is ‘coming to Maryland’
MUSK’S BORING PLAN
Elon Musk has outlined how his Boring Company will work, claiming:
Tunnelling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10
Key to this is smaller tunnels that can be dug more quickly
Will work to increase the speed of the Tunnel Boring Machine
Envisions a new breed of smaller, more powerful TBMs with triple the power of current machines that can tunnel continuously
Musk first revealed his plan for a system that could ferry passengers from NY to DC in just 29 minutes back in July, when he tweeted that he’d been given ‘verbal government approval’ for the underground tunnel.
At the time, he said it will run via Philadelphia and Baltimore, and use his Hyperloop technology.
If completed, it would become the world’s longest tunnel.
Now, the CEO has secured permission for the first section of the system.
There will undoubtedly be many other hurdles before the tunnel comes to life, including environmental reviews and obtaining approval from other administrations.
But, Governor Hogan’s support marks the first step in the process.
‘Our administration is proud to support The Boring Company to bring rapid electric transportation to MD – connecting Baltimore City to DC,’ the Maryland governor tweeted.
And, in a video accompanying a second post, in which he wrote, ‘Get Hyped,’ the governor can be heard responding to a question about the Boring Company’s Hyperloop, saying, ‘I think it’s coming to Maryland, and it’s going to go from Baltimore to Washington, so get ready.’
The state has issued a conditional utility permit for the project, allowing the firm to dig a 10.3 mile tunnel under part of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, according to LA Times
The state of Maryland has granted Elon Musk permission to begin tunnelling beneath Baltimore, bringing his radical plans for a high-speed transportation system between New York and Washington D.C. closer to reality
The governor also shared photos of himself alongside SpaceX and Boring Company execs, at the site where the tunneling is set to begin.
The system , which will begin with two 35-mile tubes between Baltimore and Washington, will be treated like a utility, officials told the LA Times, and will largely run beneath existing state highways.
While it remains unclear what other steps have been taken ahead of the digging, officials say it ‘will be done in an environmentally sound and safe fashion,’ LA Times reports.
Elon Musk has revealed a plan to build an underground tunnel to transport passengers between New York and Washington DC in just 29 minutes
TIMELINE OF MUSK’S BORING CO.
December 2016: Elon Musk tweets ‘Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…’.
‘It shall be called ‘The Boring Company’.
January 2017: Musk confirms the plan is real, and says he plans to begin digging in LA in ‘a month or so.’
February: Musk reveals first image of what’s thought the be a tunnel boring machine, and image of large pit near SpaceX headquarters
April: Musk reveals image of the first Boring Company tunnelling machine, and shows how it would work
May: Video shows the machine has begun digging, revealing it’s named ‘Godot’, and shows off the ‘underground busses’ pedestrians will ride in
June: Elon Musk says he’s had ‘promising conversations’ with LA mayor Eric Garcetti about the tunnelling plan
– Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also revealed that month he is ‘in talks’ with Musk about ‘a kind of tunnel project’
June 29: Musk reveals Godot boring machine has completed the first tunnel beneath LA
July: Musk claims he’s received ‘verbal government approval’ for a Hyperloop connecting New York to Washington DC
August: Boring Company granted permission to dig two-mile test tunnel beneath LA public roads
October: Musk says second tunnel ‘Line-Storm’ is ‘nearly ready’, as Maryland governor Larry Hogan reveals the state has granted permission to the Boring Company to dig a 10,3 mile tunnel beneath Baltimore
If the plan comes to life, Musk’s East Coast Hyperloop tunnel would be far longer than the current record holder, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, a railway line that runs through the Swiss Alps and opened in 2016, measuring 35.5 miles.
The announcement comes just as the tech boss revealed his Boring Company’s second tunnel-digging machine is ‘nearly ready.’
Musk tweeted yesterday that the new contraption will be named ‘Line-Storm’ after the 1915 poem by famed American writer Robert Frost.
The Boring Company was granted permission to dig outside of its own property for the first time just two months ago.
WHAT IS HYPERLOOP?
Hyperloop is a proposed method of travel that would transport people at roughly 700mph between distant locations.
It was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013, who at the time said it could take passengers the 380 miles (610km) from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes – half the time it takes a plane.
It is essentially a long tube that has had the air removed to create a vacuum.
The tube is suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.
As several firms vie to create the first operational Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s vision of a radical transport system that could ferry passengers above land at 760 miles per hour continues to inch closer to reality
In August, it was reported that the firm will build a two-mile-long test tunnel in Los Angeles, after the City Council voted four to one in favour of his ambitious plans.
The extension will run 13.5 metres (44 feet) under public roads around the SpaceX headquarters, and is the first time the Boring Company has been allowed to dig outside it’s property line.
This dry run will make sure plans actually work – if it doesn’t, the city can request the tunnel is filled with concrete or soil.
The company assured citizens that if the soil moves by as little as half an inch, work will stop immediately.
Many have speculated that Musk will use his Boring Company to build tunnels for Hyperloop transportation systems – either for other firms or his own venture.
Critics have slammed the plan as completely unrealistic as it would require a mass of permits and huge disruption as hundreds of tunnels and access ‘lifts’ are dug. Pictured is the first image released of the Boring Company’s tunnelling machine
When he first revealed the plan in a white paper developed with his team at SpaceX, in 2012, he said he would let others build the system.
‘I don’t have any plan to execute because I must remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla,’ he said in a conference call at the time.
But in August it appeared Musk would build his own hyperloop tunnel system in a bid to speed up adoption of the radical travel technology he invented.
According to reports from a ‘person close to Musk,’ it appears the billionaire will build the whole system himself.
Musk also hinted at it, replying to a tweet about the issues facing the various Hyperloop plans by saying ‘I guess a proof of concept is needed.’