Passenger Rail, Research & Development, Technology and IT

Should we believe the hyperloop?

Public anticipation for a super-high-speed land transport system has been spurred on this month, with exciting announcements from a pair of key firms in the developing sector.

On March 7, Elon Musk-backed firm Hyperloop One revealed the first images from its 500-metre development site in the Nevada Desert.

A fortnight later, fellow research body Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said it had begun construction on its first full-scale passenger capsule, at its research facility in Toulouse.

Hyperloop One made its announcement at Middle East Rail in Dubai earlier this month.

Chief executive Rob Lloyd revealed new images of DevLoop, the company’s development site, where construction is underway on a 3.3-metre diameter, 500-metre-long test tube.

The company says it wants to perform a public trial in the first half of 2017.

“While technology is revolutionising many facets of our lives, we have not seen a radical change in transportation since the Wright brothers introduced air travel over 100 years ago,” Lloyd said during his keynote speech.

The company sees the Middle East as a potential hotbed for hyperloop development over coming years.

“Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labour and investment,” Lloyd said.

The company’s president of engineering, Josh Giegel, spoke with the conference from DevLoop via video link.

“Our team of more than 150 engineers, technicians and fabricators have been transforming what was, just over five months ago, a barren stretch of desert, into a hive of activity and now home to the world’s first full-scale Hyperloop test site,” Giegel said.

Meanwhile, competitor Hyperloop Transportation Technologies says it’s just started work on the world’s first ever hyperloop capsule, at its Toulouse research and development site.

HTT’s capsule is 30 metres long, 2.7 metres in diameter, and would carry between 28 and 40 people.

“We are building the world’s first full-scale passenger hyperloop capsule,” chief executive Dirk Ahlborn said.

“We are taking a passenger-first approach to guarantee that safety is always our number one concern.”

HTT is working closely with fuselage and advanced material construction firm Carbures.

“This is a fascinating project utilising our expertise and technology around the world,” Carbures boss Rafael Contreras said.

“We are pleased to work in this innovative, global, and important project.”

HTT released the below video to accompany its announcement – although it doesn’t give too much away.



Related story: How we can make super fast Hyperloop a reality

1 Comment

  1. It’s the same engineering solution looking for an application. Where is the business case? Just because some celebrity says it’s a good idea doesn’t make it so!