The entrepreneur Ilona Mask has so many projects that when speaking about one of them, it is worthwhile to clarify what exactly this is about, otherwise you may get confused. Yesterday, he announced that he had received an “oral” permission to build a tunnel for a super-high-speed Hyperloop train. At the same time, the tunnel is not a test one at all, it must connect New York and Washington, thus becoming the longest tunnel in the world.
Unfortunately, Musk did not clarify the details of the permit, and his spokesman declined to comment on the message from the company’s executive. But some conclusions can be made. So, from the amount of data that Ilon did provide, it becomes clear that it is planned to build a tunnel under the ground, this will be done by another of his companies, which is called the Boring Company
. And in this case it is planned to build a tunnel specifically for Hyperloop, and not for cars (another Mask project).
The message on Twitter is good, but it is still unclear who gives money for construction, who gave permission and most importantly, how much time is allotted for the implementation of the plan. At the moment, the Gotthard base tunnel is considered
the largest tunnel in the world. This is a railway tunnel in Switzerland with a length of 57.1 km (including service and pedestrian passages - 153.4 km). The northern portal of the tunnel is located near the village of Erstfeld, and the southern portal is near the village of Bodio. After the completion of the eastern part (October 15, 2010) and the western part (March 23, 2011), it became the longest railway tunnel in the world.
The tunnel, which Mask conceived to build, will be twice as long as the Swiss one. And here, of course, money is the cornerstone. The fact is that the amount required for its construction is simply huge. For comparison, the recently opened subway branch in New York cost the city budget $ 4.5 billion. And this is despite the fact that its length is only a few kilometers. For the first time this branch was proposed to be built in 1919, and opened in January 2017.
Probably, the drilling company Ilona Mask has some know-how that can significantly reduce the cost of building tunnels. With all this, cheapness should not affect the safety of the tunnel, it should be very reliable. Boring Co. will most likely drill with the help of a specialized drilling machine purchased by Mask "with hands". This system is called Godot, and it has already performed well in the work, having drilled a test tunnel.
The most interesting thing is that back in April Musk spoke about Boring Co. The following: “Our company is mainly interns and those who are only partially involved here. We purchased some equipment from our hands. This is a kind of work and we are showing good progress. " That is, it was almost entertainment in April, and in July, “interns and part-time employees were given the go-ahead for the construction of the longest tunnel in the world.”
Having purchased a tunnel drilling machine, Mask decided to modify it so that work would go faster. About exactly how the team Boring Co. changed the design, not reported. But such a huge work as the drilling of a tunnel between New York and Washington can hardly be done in a few weeks or even months.
July 4, the company Ilona Mask completed the
tunneling of the first tunnel segment for an underground motorway near Los Angeles. In this case, we are talking about a project that is not related to Hyperloop. Then the entrepreneur announced the installation of a steel frame in the elevator shaft, the lift itself was probably already installed too. According to the plan, the tunnels can be multi-level, which will reduce the load on the ground road network by placing cars under the ground.
Mask said earlier that obtaining work permits is a more difficult task than drilling itself. However, the other day, the representative of the White House said that “a promising conversation” had taken place with Musk. Not a word was said about the tunnel, although some “infrastructure projects” were mentioned in the government’s comments.
By the way, planning the upcoming work front, exploration and other tasks can take several years. In Virginia, USA, where several years ago they decided to build a long tunnel, this stage of the preparatory work was completed only now.
Perhaps, with his Twitter post, Musk only draws attention to his new company. It must be said that he succeeds if the plan was exactly that - now the world's leading media write about the tunnel between New York and Washington, almost without questioning that the project will start sooner or later. Musk himself said that before the formal approval of the project is still far, but he remains optimistic in this regard.