After winning this year’s edition of SpaceX’s hyperloop pod competition, a Dutch team of engineers from Delft is setting up a test facility for this futuristic transport system. Their aim is to start building a hyperloop route between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.
Earlier this year, a Dutch team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) stood out at SpaceX’s hyperloop competition in Los Angeles among hundreds of teams from around the globe. Since then they’ve grown to become a startup called Hardt Global Mobility, which will now be responsible for making their hyperloop vision a reality.
Hyperloop is a long-distance transport system that could propel people and goods through low-pressure tubes at nearly supersonic speed, an idea originally proposed by Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk.
Together with construction company BAM, the TU Delft, the Dutch national railway NS, and several other investors, Hardt is building a test centre for the hyperloop at The Green Village on the TU Delft campus — an innovation hub for the development of sustainable technologies.
The test track is a 30-metre long and 3.2-meter wide tube that will be used to test (in a vacuum) the safety, propulsion, gliding and stabilisation systems at low speeds. According to the company, this is only the first step in a detailed plan that they hope will lead to building the first hyperloop route. After this initial phase, high-speed tests will follow.
Then, “we’re going to test all systems that you need to test before you can actually start building a route between two cities so: top speed, taking corners, switching lanes, making it as safe as possible,” Hardt CEO, Tim Houter, told Reuters.
If everything goes as planned, construction of the hyperloop route between Amsterdam and Paris will begin in the next four years.
Besides the Netherlands’, another hyperloop line is being considered in Europe to connect Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Canada, Los Angeles and Dubai, are other places where hyperloop projects are now at work.