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"I do think there is a link in that in both cases, writing fiction or writing a computer program, at any given moment you're focusing on a very specific and particular thing—one word, one line of code, whatever."
- Neal Stephenson

Underground MagLev Train  
  Magnetic levitation train that travels through a tunnel; a vacuum reduces drag.  

The train sat rigid as a steel bar, poised in midair above its magnetic monorail track, disgorging passengers into Dallas Station. Its fifteen cars had borne their passengers in quiet efficiency from New York to Dallas in just over half an hour, cradled in magnetic fields, traveling through vacuum at close to orbital velocity, deep underground.
From Dream Park, by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes).
Published by Ace Books in 1981
Additional resources -

Depending on the depth of the tunnel, the train might also take advantage of a more direct route, as well as the accelerative force of gravity.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dream Park
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes)
  Tech news articles related to Dream Park
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes)

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