Hyperloop One reveals nine potential European routes
As part of its globe-spanning ambitions to introduce partial vacuum transportation to the masses, Hyperloop One has added another nine potential routes in Europe. The result of the start up's Global Challenge, the new routes run through Germany, Estonia to Finland, Spain to Morocco, Corsica to Sardinia, the Netherlands, Poland, Scotland to Wales, Liverpool to Glasgow, and London to Edinburgh.
Unveiled during Hyperloop One's Vision for Europe Summit, the nine routes run 90 to 1,060 km (56 to 659 mi) and include:
- a circular route around Germany from Hamburg to Munich via Berlin and Cologne
- a circumnavigation of the Netherlands
- a line in Poland linking Wroclaw and Warsaw
- a line from Madrid to Tangiers running (presumably) under the Straits of Gibraltar
- an arc from Liverpool to Glasgow by way of Newcastle and Edinburgh
- a more direct line from London to Edinburgh through the northwest of England
- a very circuitous route from Cardiff to Glasgow via London and the northeast
- and the most ambitious route from Helsinki to Tallinn in Estonia under the Baltic Sea
Like most of the company's previous routes outlined for the United States, Scandinavia, India, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia, the nine new ones aren't serious proposals, but lines drawn on maps with little or no consideration of the engineering, political, or economic difficulties of building a functioning hyperloop system. Rather, they are ideas submitted in response to an open call to individuals, universities, companies, and governments and selected by a team of judges as the ones that make the best case for a new hyperloop route.
Founded in 2013, Hyperloop One is one of a handful of companies working to develop a practical version of the hyperloop system envisioned by Elon Musk in his white paper of that year. The system would use steel tubes evacuated to 1/100th of an atmosphere in which passenger or cargo pods would levitate on magnetic fields. These pods would accelerate to 620 mph (1,000 km/h) in seconds using an electromagnetic catapult, while air compressors in the front of the pod reduce the air pressure in front further before expelling the collected air out the back.
In recent years, Hyperloop One has expanded on the idea by introducing the concept of electric travel units (also called pods) that would collect passengers at their door on demand, deliver them to the hyperloop station where they would roll directly into the hyperloop pod. At the other end, the unit would roll off the pod and take the passengers directly to their destination. However, the company still remains reticent on even the most basic engineering questions regarding these plans.
In concrete terms, Hyperloop One conducted a public demonstration of its catapult in May 2016 and announced that it would be making a test of the complete system in a full-size 1,000 m (3,200 ft) tube at the company's test facility north of Las Vegas later that year. The test is now six months overdue and the completed track is half the planned size, but company management says that it will have a team of 500 employees on the problem by the end of the year when the system will finally be ready for a test run.
"Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully functioning Hyperloop system test track," says Hyperloop One co-founder and President of Engineering Josh Giegel. "For the last two years, our team of nearly 200 engineers, technicians and fabricators developed our technology and transformed a stretch of desert in the U.S. into a working test track that proves we can build a Hyperloop system anywhere in the world. We're looking forward to showcasing our technology and believe that Europe is the perfect region for one of the world's first Hyperloop systems."
The video below introduces the Hyperloop One system.
Source: Hyperloop One