Is this Elon Musk’s secret design for a high-speed train?

July 16, 2013

(Credit: John Gardi)

Elon Musk has been hinting at an idea he calls the Hyperloop — a ground-based transportation technology that would get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under half an hour, for less than 1/10 the cost of California’s $69 billion plan.

On Monday, Musk tweeted that he will publish an “alpha design” for the Hyperloop by Aug. 12. As Slate mentioned, an engineer named John Gardi tweeted a diagram of his best guess as to how the Hyperloop might work and got a “closest guess yet” from Musk. (Musk previously described it as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table” and “a really fun ride.”)

Further hints here (for the acceleration and deceleration phases):

UPDATE 7/16/2013: “Underground” in title removed. Musk said it could be either aboveground or underground in a Reuters Insider interview (at 38:49-43:12).