Elon Musk’s 150mph 'Loop' tunnel system to open in December

REUTERS  Joe Skipper  File

Elon Musk announced on his Twitter page the launch date of his high-speed underground tunnel transportation system - the event is said to be followed up by a day of free rides for the public.

Elon Musk says the first tunnel is "almost done". Through his tunnel-digging firm, the Boring Company, Musk envisions the construction of a zero-emissions underground transit system that transports people using high-speed electric sleds.

The trial tunnel will have a top speed of 155 miles per hour, according to the billionaire-entrepreneur, surpassing the 125 mph traveled by an electric sled in a video of a test run posted in May previous year. One of the proposed routes would take passengers from the District to NY in under 30 minutes.

Loop is different than Musk's Hyperloop concept, which is a sort-of train traveling inside a pressurized tube at near supersonic speeds over longer distances. Since then, Musk has purchased a boring machine to tunnel under the Los Angeles neighborhood with the hope of making modifications to the machinery that will allow tunnels to be dug more quickly.

Hyperloop is one of Musk's envelope-pushing ventures, along with SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

He subsequently paid a $20 million fine to settle after the US Securities and Exchange Commission accused the entrepreneur of fraud.

And Canadian company Transpod is working to begin testing the system in France.

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