Hyperloop Breaks 1955 Rail Record

The further things progress with Hyperloop, the more surreal it all becomes.

Take, for instance, today’s feature in Wired entitled “How Students Built the World’s Fastest Hyperloop.” Basically, it’s about a student competition to launch a cart down a tube, with some of the air sucked out to reduce resistance. The cart hit just over 200 mph.

KQED, in it’s latest story on Hyperloop, describes things this way:

Hyperloop is Musk’s answer to what he called “outdated technology” in plans for high-speed rail in California. Musk proposed a completely new form of transportation — a fifth mode of transportation, along with cars, trains, boats and planes — and then challenged academics to make it.

Comparing it to California high-speed rail is noteworthy, since the French and Japanese spent decades perfecting the technology. The French, in fact, first achieved 200 mph in an experiment with a conventional steel-wheel-on-steel-rail train back in 1955. And, unlike the latest Hyperloop breakthrough, it was with a full-sized train.

(It was actually a French SNCF “C-Motor” that sits retired at the rail museum in Breil Sur Roya, France. A neat little train ride from Nice France.)

The students did surpass Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One’s run of a larger test vehicle in the Nevada desert. “That design, which the company is hoping to commercialize one day, uses magnetic levitation, like a bullet train,” wrote Jack Stewart, in his his story for Wired. Except bullet trains, referring to the iconic high-speed rail network in Japan, don’t use magnetic levitation at all–they use true-and-tried conventional steel-wheels-on-steel rails and have hit 275 mph.

In other words, Hyperloop remains much slower than those pesky “dinosaur” trains that use good-old fashioned tracks and wheels.

Magnetic Levitation technology, which floats the train a few inches above a guideway (no wheels required), also isn’t original to Hyperloop. That’s used commercially in China on the Shanghai Maglev train that runs to that city’s airport. That train, which started carrying passengers in 2004, uses German Maglev technology that was in development for decades. It tops out at 268 mph. The Japanese, meanwhile are building a Maglev between Tokyo and Nagoya, which should be operational by 2027. The Japanese MagLev currently holds the train speed record, at 375 mph.

The current conventional steel-wheel-on-steel-rail speed record, by the way, was achieved by the French in 2007, at 357 mph.

Again, the Hyperloop miniature test train achieved a “record” speed of just over 200 mph.

Street Blogs San Francisco


Hurricane Harvey resource fact sheet

This resource includes customer updates from logistics companies and transportation providers, and ways people can contribute to charitable organizations to help those affected by the storm and flooding. This page will be updated whenever JOC learns of new resources.


BNSF Railway reports on service disruptions: http://domino.bnsf.com/website/updates.nsf/updates?ReadForm&service

Cosco Container Lines North America reports its North American Customer Service Center is operating with up to 60 percent staffing: http://www.cosco-usa.com/docs/Harvey%20Customer%20Update%20August%2028.pdf

Dunavant Logistics reported Monday that “as of now, we have a few associates and contractors impacted by flooding or power loss, and thankfully no one has been hurt. … Our operating facilities in warehousing and transportation remain dry and have not been impacted by water or wind damage.”

FedEx said customers should expect delays and disruptions to service in parts of Texas and Louisiana: http://www.fedex.com/us/servicealerts/

Hapag-Lloyd omits a Houston call on Gulf Caribbean service, will drop cargo at Altamira: https://www.hapag-lloyd.com/en/news-insights/news/2017/08/gcs-service-_-frisia-lissabon–v–1730-nb-1735-sb—-houston-omi.html

Kansas City Southern Railway advisory on service suspensions, shipment embargo, and force majeure declaration: http://www.kcsouthern.com/customer-resources/service-status-updates/hurricane-harvey-update

Maersk Line customer advisory on Houston service: http://view.mktg.maerskline.com/?qs=dd89531f465220a36bfbaa5b84c27f81eea2f90923a6682c54a541b3722fc281f9d713fa165432c2a6879a5abd8d72b23cca61a386c5b5ba10a821194369ce479f5ffb83129c721d

SalSon Logistics reports its Houston staff is safe and working from their homes as the drayage company continues to monitor conditions.

Seaboard Marine is monitoring conditions that have closed Jacintoport, where its ships call in Houston: https://www.seaboardmarine.com/seaboard-marine-monitoring-hurricane-harvey/

Sealand advisory on Houston services: http://view.email.sealand.com/?qs=8b13988fa8b4a66c561c3582e5f11c33b14aa89c495945c52a20856d8d32626b517b89b31ef311f5a6d6f36c7ddfb089e49bafe316af3c77d26f822e3438a52e

Texas Department of Transportation map of flooded highways: https://drivetexas.org/#/6/32.553/-98.852?future=false

Union Pacific Railroad service advisory on storm impacts: https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/generalannouncements/CN2017-63.html

UPS said its service was affected in 728 zip codes in Texas and four Louisiana zip codes. A searchable list of areas affected is available here: https://www.ups.com/us/en/service-alerts.page

US Coast Guard update on port closures: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDHSCG/bulletins/1b3d57a


Gulf Winds International‘s charitable arm, the More Than The Move Foundation, sends donations directly to employee and owner-operators’ families in need, with no overhead: https://morethanthemove.com/?page_id=1009

International Longshoremen’s Association relief fund to help ILA members affected by storm: http://www.ilaunion.org/ila-afl-cio-launches-fundraising-drive-to-aide-tx-ila-members-recover-from-hurricane-harvey/

Project 44, a transportation software company, is offering its less-than-truckload and truckload visibility products free for the next 30 days https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hurricane-harvey-supporting-houston-our-networks-tommy-barnes

Union Pacific Railroad donates $250,000 to hurricane relief, will match contributions up to $100,000: https://www.up.com/media/releases/170828-harvey-relief.htm

Meteoric Growth Of New York City’s Mobile Food Vending Industry Sparks Legislative Action

Mobile food vending is now a billion dollar industry. The hospitality subset has experienced a major boom since the economic downturn of 2008. Food trucks nationwide are expected to bring in $2.7 billion in revenue this year alone according to Priceonomics. This meteoric growth is attributable to a confluence of changing consumer demands and a relatively easy start-up process.

In New York City, home to an estimated 12,000 mobile food vendors, legislators are struggling to find balance between regulation and sustained growth. The issues are many and range from permitting to parking to health and safety concerns. Here’s a closer look.

For that estimated 12,000 mobile food vendors, there are only 5,100 valid food vendor permits currently allotted by the city’s Department of Health. That number has not increased since the 1980s. The lack of permits has created a black market whereby permit owners can attain as much as $20,000 per permit as reported in the New York Times.

In addition, more vendors equates to more competition for brick and mortar restaurants. Having a large number of vendors operating illegally has restaurant proponents fuming about unfair competition, lost profits, and inadequate regulation.

Further, unpermitted vendors may put consumers’ health at risk. City health inspectors cannot inspect nor regulate what they do not know exists.

Proposed Legislative Solutions

The New York City council has proposed the Street Vending Modernization Act (“SVMA”) to expand the number of available permits to 8,000 by the year 2023. Proponents of the SVMA see mobile food vending as a legitimate industry and want the city to cultivate an environment where these businesses can flourish. In addition to increasing the number of permits, the SVMA intends to improve mobile food vendor compliance with local regulations and create an independent office of street vendor enforcement.

Despite the apparent benefits, the SVMA has been met with opposition from brick and mortar restaurant proponents. Restaurateurs are concerned with the effect an increased number of permits will have on their businesses, and concerned consumers detest the idea of further congesting already overcrowded New York City streets and sidewalks with more food trucks and carts. The SVMA has yet to pass.

On another front, mobile food vendors may face increased regulations regarding where they can conduct business. Today, New York City has fairly lax regulations addressing where a mobile food vendor may park. Vendors are only banned from occupying areas in and around crosswalks, fire hydrants, bus stops, building entrances, and the like. The New York City council has received pressure from local restaurant owners to further restrict the location of food trucks to address what they see as unfair competition. As an example of the conflict, some point to the area around the Second Avenue subway station. When the station was under construction, several restaurants in the vicinity suffered a decline in sales. Now that the subway has opened, mobile food vendors are setting up directly outside the subway entrance and in front of brick and mortar restaurants. Currently there is no pending legislation that restricts the proximity to which a mobile food vendor may park from a brick and mortar restaurant.

New York legislators have also struggled with the regulation of health and safety for mobile food vendors. Until just recently, there was no requirement for displaying food inspection grades for mobile food vendors. In May 2017, Mayor de Blasio signed into law a bill that requires mobile food vendors to display health inspection grades. A similar bill is currently active in the New York State Senate which would require inspection grades to be displayed and also require vendors to submit their routes to the health commission for tracking purposes. This bill is viewed as a win-win for both brick and mortar restaurants and mobile food vendors. The bill holds mobile food vendors to the same health and sanitation standards as brick and mortar restaurants, while those vendors displaying satisfactory food grades can attract more business by assuring consumers of a sanitary product.

Given that the mobile food vending industry now accounts for close to 18,000 jobs in New York City and it has become a part of the city’s fabric, we do not expect to see city or state legislators significantly curtail such business. However, with increased pressure from consumers, food vendors and brick and mortar restaurants, we do believe that legislators will act on the issues discussed above.

JD Supra