The Boring Company’s Test Tunnel Will Open On December 10th

Elon Musk’s vision of traveling at high speeds in underground tunnels is inching closer to reality as the outspoken executive has announced The Boring Company’s test tunnel in Hawthorne, California will open on December 10th.

The tunnel starts in the SpaceX parking lot and then turns west under 120th Street. It then continues straight for approximately 2 miles (3.2 km). While the tunnel isn’t very long, it was created for the “research and development of The Boring Company’s tunneling and public transportation systems.”

Following the opening event, the tunnel will begin offering free rides to the public on December 11th. A lot of details remain unknown, but The Boring Company’s ultimate goal is to build a high-speed underground public transportation system known as the Loop. While the company originally said the Loop would consist of “autonomous electric skates” traveling at speeds between 125-150 mph (201-241 km/h), Musk suggested the top speed has been increased to 155 mph (250 km/h).

The Loop is slated to use skates which can transport vehicles or between 8-16 passengers. The skates would be lowered and raised using a Loop Lift at predetermined stops.

While the test tunnel is just a proof of concept, The Boring Company has plans for a Chicago Express Loop that would provide service between downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport. Trips would only take 12 minutes and company noted this is three to four times faster than existing transportation options. The Boring Company has also said that fares will be “less than half the typical price of taxi/ride-share services.”

The Boring Company has also proposed an East Coast Loop which would consist of twin tunnels which connect Baltimore, Maryland to Washington DC. The company also proposed a Dugout Loop which would transport Los Angeles residents from the Los Feliz, East Hollywood or Rampart Village neighborhoods to Dodger Stadium in less than four minutes.

 

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  • Dude

    I want to try it. But why is the tunnel fully lit? Seems like a waste of energy.

  • Ilbirs

    As I said before, one of the things I like about the Loop is that it blurs the dichotomy between individual and mass transportation, as the same platform can carry a car or a pod, meaning a broader generation of interest. A lot of people would love to go from point A to B at more than 200 km/h/124 mph, specially considering those who live in points of metropolitan areas that are separated by a far distance to work.
    By what the demo video shows, a Loop station would also be a more integrated thing than a current train or subway station, specially considering that boarding and departure would happen at ground level on a space that can be shaped like a public square instead of some ugly modern stations we’re seeing. Instead of huge stations, these tiny square-like stations would also ease the task of finding some place to board, as they could be more numerous than even what is possible to a very spread subway system. It’d also stimulate deconcentration of population, as living in a nearby smaller town wouldn’t pose that disadvantage when compared to living in a metropolis, specially considering that you could reach it in a matter of a few minutes.

    Other point of interest is the tunneling technique developed by The Boring Company, specially if it’s faster and cheaper than a same quality work done the way we know. Maybe cities could replace some elevated highways by tunnels easier than what is now possible, with evident gains in aesthetics and usable areas.

  • BGM

    The Mexican cartels do more professional jobs in their tunnels under the border.

  • MEANWHILE ANOTHER OUTSPOKEN TWITTER NUT IS LINING HIS POCKETS CHARGING RENT FOR USE OF HIS PROPERTIES FOR GOVERNMENT BUISNESS.

  • john1168

    I think this is a better concept than the hyperloop. And yes, i’m sure everyone would rather go 155 MPH than 60+mph on an existing subway train. But I’d like to address the elephant in the room. COST! How much will this all cost? Especially when you’re talking about replacing the Chicago Loop. Is it economically feasible to replace an existing train/subway system with this maglev skateboard system? We all know the taxpayers are going to get hammered with the costs. And free introductory rides? For how long? And how much afterwards?

    Something else I don’t understand. Most everyone is against maglev trains in the US (for different reasons). “I don’t want to pay for it! Not in my backyard! Zoning problems! Noise! If I want to go faster, I’ll fly! etc etc”. Why are so many behind all this Hyperloop and maglev skateboard stuff now?

    I’m all for saving the environment, high tech improvements and progress and all but if it costs insane amounts of money, what’s the point? A lot of low and mid income people use these train/subway systems now. When the fares and taxes go up, ridership will decrease.

    I don’t mean to sound like a cheap, angry old man, just some things I’m pondering…

    • FoxJ30

      They said nothing about replacing the Chicago Loop, rather that this thing (also called a Loop) could have a tunnel going from Chicago downtown (the existing loop) to O’Hare.

      As for cost: at some point, we had to pay for highways and airports and ports and refineries. Other countries are actively exploring modern transportation infrastructure, why shouldn’t the US? The bullet train in Japan (as well as other HSR systems in China and Europe, I presume) put anything the US has to shame.

      Just think: If the loop can provide 155mph transportation for vehicles, and hyperloops can provide 500mph transportation for people, suddenly parts of the country that were otherwise too far from urban centers are now much closer. For example:
      – A “commuter train” Loop at 155mph could mean someone could live outside Pittsburgh and commute to Cleveland every day.
      – A “Loop” that carries cars, paralleling I-95, means that a family could pile into their SUV in New York, drive off in Orlando, and meet Micky before dinner.

      – A 500mph hyperloop means someone could live outside St. Louis and commute to downtown Chicago every day.
      – With a hyperloop, one could go from SF to LA for dinner and be back in time to send the babysitter home before midnight.

  • Sybill Julian

    is it just a faster and smaller subway train?

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