Home / Technology / Elon Musk has abandoned the first Hyperloop tube in California

Elon Musk has abandoned the first Hyperloop tube in California

The test tunnel, which served as the venue for student competitions in 2018 and 2019, has been taken out and replaced with employee parking spaces at SpaceX.
The initial Hyperloop tunnel prototype is no longer in existence. According to Bloomberg, the approximately one-mile-long white steel tunnel along Jack Northrop Avenue, close to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, has been taken out and will be replaced with staff parking.

You may remember that before Musk took on the role of defender of free speech, he set out to develop the Hyperloop, a futuristic system of tunnels that would revolutionize transportation, in order to avoid “soul-destroying traffic.” Additionally, he asserted that he could dig tunnels more quickly and effectively than the majority of the present tunnel boring techniques, which he correctly claimed were time-consuming and expensive.

Musk claimed that by combining these elements, he could alter how most people traveled, cutting the distance between San Francisco and Los Angeles’ journey time to just 30 minutes. The Hawthorne tunnel was created as a showcase for Musk’s ideas.

But now it has been taken down and a parking lot has been built. Erik Wright, the owner of Precision Construction Services, was informed earlier this year that the prototype tube will be demolished. Precision Construction Services was one of the contractors who installed the tube. After visiting the location, Bloomberg stated that “no evidence of the Hyperloop tube remained.” (It is assumed that Musk’s underground test tunnel still exists.)

When dozens of student teams from around the world gathered in the SpaceX parking lot to race their pods and celebrate all things Musk in 2018, the above-ground tube served as the focal point of the Hyperloop competition. The next year, there was another student competition, and Musk anticipated that a third contest would include a “10km vacuum tunnel with a curve.”


Musk’s plans for the Hyperloop, however, have been significantly cut back in recent years. It has been decided to use tunnels that can only fit Tesla vehicles instead of his initial plan for an underground transit system that would use magnetically levitating shuttles to go through practically airless tubes at speeds of up to hundreds of miles per hour. Other Hyperloop startups have folded or switched to shipping freight.

While attempts by Musk’s Boring Company to drill in other places, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and the Northeast Corridor, have failed, the company has been constructing a network of tunnels beneath Las Vegas for a while now.

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