High-speed Hyperloop systems that fire passengers between European cities at 670mph are a step closer to reality after construction begins on first test track
- Hyperloop would transport people at 670mph (1000kph) between cities
- One firm working on the technology is Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
- HTT has begun building its first test track at a research centre in Toulouse
- The system will be used to test prototype pods and will be operational this year
A revolution in transportation has begun in Europe, as construction starts on the continent’s first Hyperloop track.
The experimental facility will help its US backers develop its own version of Elon Musk’s high speed system.
Hyperloop promises to propel passengers through near-vacuum tubes in small pods, travelling at speeds of up to 670mph (1,000kph).
The technology, which uses super-powered magnets to levitate carrier pods, could cut the time taken to travel between major cities by several hours.
The first European Hyperloop track has begun construction. The track’s first low-pressure tubes (pictured) were received by a research team at a research facility run by US firm Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in Toulouse, France, last week
Low-pressure tubes were received by designers Hyperloop Transportation Technologies’ research team in Toulouse, France, last week.
The firm, based in Culver City, California, will use the parts in the construction of a closed 1,050-foot (320-metre) system, built to test prototype pods and other technology, that will be operational this year.
A second full-scale system that stretches 0.6 miles (one kilometre) – elevated above the ground by pylons – will be completed in 2019, the firm said in a written statement.
HTT has signed deals with officials in Ohio, South Korea and India to build Hyperloop tracks but is yet to announce plans for a European route.
The Hyperloop concept was unveiled in a white paper written by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013, though the billionaire is not directly involved in any Hyperloop projects.
A number of startups are vying to build the world’s first Hyperloop based on Musk’s initial designs, but Los Angeles-based HTT and competitor Virgin Hyperloop One are the two front-runners.
HTT’s European test centre is based in a small facility at Toulouse’s Francazal Airport, a disused former military base.
The centre has now received its first test tube sections, which have an interior diameter of 13 feet (four metres), allowing them to house passenger capsules and shipping containers, the company said.
The test track (artist’s impression) will help US firm Hyperloop Transportation Technologies develop its version of the Hyperloop system, which promises to propel passengers through near-vacuum tubes in small pods travelling at speeds of up to 670mph (1,000kph)
A second full-scale system that stretches 0.6 miles (1 kilometre) elevated above the ground by pylons will be completed in 2019, the firm said. Pictured is one of HTT’s tube sections, delivered to the company’s European research and development facility last week
HTT has signed deals with officials in Ohio, South Korea and India to build Hyperloop tracks but is yet to announce plans for a European route. The technology could cut the time taken to travel between major cities by several hours. Pictured are tube parts in Toulouse
WHAT IS THE HYPERLOOP?
Hyperloop is a proposed method of travel that would transport people at roughly 700mph between distant locations.
It was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013, who at the time said it could take passengers the 380 miles (610km) from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes – half the time it takes a plane.
It is essentially a long tube that has had the air removed to create a vacuum. For safety reasons, Hyperloop tunnels need escape hatches in case of fire.
The tube is suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.
There are now a number of firms vying to bring the technology to life, including Elon Musk himself, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, and Virgin Hyperloop One.
As several firms vie to create the first operational Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s vision of a radical transport system that could ferry passengers above land at 760 miles per hour continues to inch closer to reality
Source: Mail Online
Author: Harry Pettit