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A sketch of billionaire Elon Musk's proposed "Hyperloop" transport system is shown in this publicity image released to Reuters on August 12, 2013. The Hyperloop, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, will be solar powered and move passengers and even automobiles at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour, according to the 57-page design plan.
A sketch of billionaire Elon Musk's proposed "Hyperloop" transport system is shown in this publicity image released to Reuters on August 12, 2013. The Hyperloop, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, will be solar powered and move passengers and even automobiles at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour, according to the 57-page design plan.
(Handout/Reuters/Tesla Motors)

BREAKINGVIEWS

If Elon Musk wasn’t championing projects like Hyperloop, who would?

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks.

Elon Musk is putting the hype – much of it believable – in Hyperloop. The Tesla Motors Inc., SpaceX and PayPal entrepreneur may not be the first to propose shooting people between cities at high speeds through tubes in a vacuum. His personal brand championing the idea gives it a fresh chance for success. Mr. Musk’s Hyperloop may also cost a fraction of the standard transit line. That significantly enhances the appeal.