Imagine being able to zip smoothly from Vancouver to Toronto in three hours, or Toronto to Montreal in just 30 minutes, in a comfortable, energy-efficient pod.

Several companies in the U.S. and Canada have taken up Tesla founder Elon Musk's 2013 challenge to build Hyperloop — the concept for an ultra-fast transportation system in which passengers are carried in capsules through vacuum tubes at 1,200 kilometres per hour, just under the speed of sound.

Hyperloop Technologies, headed by Canadian Rob Lloyd, and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies are two California companies building prototypes and test tracks in the southwestern U.S.

CBC's Kim Brunhuber toured their facilities, offering an inside look at what it takes to build Hyperloop.