You could call it a pipe dream.
That’s how the BBC refers to it on its website, where a feature story reports that one day soon, trains traveling through vacuum tunnels could whisk passengers from New York to London in an hour, hitting speeds of up 2,500 mph.
Reverse the journey, and you could leave the UK at noon and arrive in Manhattan at 8 a.m. the same day.
The key is in the vacuum. Suck the air out of a transatlantic tunnel, and you eliminate resistance to the vehicle. In the oceanic version, engineers would tether the tunnel at a fixed depth.
The “vactrain” is not a new concept. Robert Goddard, who created the first liquid fuel rocket, designed a prototype over 100 years ago, with the idea of zipping people around between U.S. cities. But they haven’t been economically feasible, or even fast enough.
Read the full story on SmartPlanet.com here (With thanks to the BBC too)