Let’s say it’s the fourth of July, and the Clintons have invited you to their house in Westchester, New York to shoot off some fireworks and have a barbeque. From Grand Central station in New York City, it would take you an hour to get there by train. Well, imagine being able to travel to London in less time to meet the Queen for tea at Buckingham palace.
A licensing organization called ET3 believes that day isn’t far off. They hold a patent to Evacuated Tube Technology or ETT and say that with their tubes, you will eventually be able to get you from New York to Beijing in 2 hours and from New York to London in less than an hour.
Their six person capsules would travel on frictionless magnetic levitation tracks, through air-less vacuum tubes reaching a maximum speed of 4,000 miles per hour. At that speed you could spend the day comparing noodles in China to Pasta in Italy and back to New York in time for cheesecake, all in the same day.
Now before you start making dinner reservations in Tuscany and sending out an RSVP to the Royal Family, this technology is still a concept and it’s not clear when it will be operational. The first prototype is being built by researchers at Southwest Jiaotong University in China, who licensed ET3’s technology and have worked with the founder of the company to build it.
If you’re interested in getting involved, it’s an open source technology and you can buy a lifetime license for a hundred dollars allowing you to propose and bid on related construction of the rails.