Pedestrian Observations has a comparison of world subway, tunnel and rail costs.
There are updated comparisons of construction costs.
In non-English-speaking developed countries, the typical range for urban subways is $100-300 million per km, with a few outliers in both directions.
In the US the cost of tunnels and subways is about $1.5-6 billion per mile.
1. Elon Musk’s Boring company is looking to cut the diameter of the tunnels they dig, moving from the traditional tunnel diameter for passenger vehicles of 26 to 28-feet to a 12-foot standard diameter which would be sufficient for the Tesla skate. On the surface, this might not seem like a lot, but cutting the diameter by 50% cuts the cross sectional area by a factor of four. This is significant as the speed and cost of tunneling is largely driven by the amount of cross sectional area to dig. Being able to cut out 75% of the time associated with digging comes with enormous cost savings.
2. Traditional machines dig, slowly and incrementally, then stop to install reinforcements to the walls. The Boring company will install the reinforcements continuously thus eliminating the need to pause operations. This integration is expected to increase the speed of the overall process by as much as 50%.
3. Current digging machines are nowhere near their power and thermal limits, and is looking to ‘jack up the power’ to the digging machines. This will increase the speed by a factor of 4 or 5 on top of the other improvements.
Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com
, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
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