Helsinki to Stockholm by Hyperloop – in less than half an hour?

Hyperloop One is proposing a line running between Finland and Sweden

Hyperloop One, the proposed faster-than-airplane transport system, has presented a study highlighting the economic feasibility and benefits of creating a route between the Finnish capital, Helsinki, and the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The new network would move commuters between the two cities in less than half an hour as they travel in pilot-free capsules that use electric propulsion for acceleration and levitate slightly above the track.

Hyperloop One and its partner FS Links, along with global accounting firm KPMG, presented the data during the recent Northern Light business summit in Helsinki. A trip between the cities would reportedly take only 28 minutes, which is half the time it takes to go by air and much shorter than an overnight ferry.

Passengers would be better off €321 million (about US$356.5 million) per year in saved time while the operating profit would be €800 million ($888.4 million) based on a forecast of 43 million passenger trips per year, the study shows.

The cost of building the 500-kilometer (310.6-mile) network is estimated to be €19 billion ($21 billion). The proponents say that, at €38 million per kilometer ($67 million per mile), it works out cheaper than a high-speed train. For instance, the London-Birmingham (UK) fast rail project is estimated to cost €100 million per kilometer ($180 million per mile) and another high-speed rail project in California is projected to cost between $124 to $143 million per mile, they say.

The study also shows that the network would foster new economic development, and highlights the property market in Stockholm as a case study. The Swedish capital has a 13-year waiting list for new rental apartments and there are official plans to build 210,000 new commuter homes. These housing plans could be incorporated into the route with properties being build near Hyperloop One stations, from where passengers could reach the center of the city in less than 10 minutes.

The findings of the study have prompted the Finnish city of Salo, a tech hub in the country, to sign a Letter of Intent with Hyperloop One to become the first city along the route between the two capitals. Initially, a 50-kilometer (31-mile) route will run west from Salo to the coastal city of Turku. That would be followed by a 140-km (87-mile) extension to Helsinki.

The full report can be downloaded free of charge.

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