Hyperloop: Travel around the Randstad in just 41 minutes
Fancy getting from Rotterdam to Amsterdam is just 7 minutes? Unbelievable, right!
Well, the TU Delft team that won Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Space-X competition in January, are currently working to make it a reality.
Europe’s first hyperloop testing facility
Hardt, a start-up formed by the TU Delft Hyperloop team members, joined forces with BAM, a construction company, to build the first Hyperloop testing facility in Europe.
The testing track, which was built on the university’s campus, is 30 metres long and 3,2 metres wide. After low-speeds are tested, the team will test high-speeds of more than 1000km/h in the capsule.
Once these are successful, they will test cornering and changing lanes within the vacuum tube at top speed. If all goes well, the construction of the first route between two cities will begin.
Connecting the Randstad
Hardt is working closely with Hyperloop One and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment on plans to connect the Randstad area. A route of 428 kilometres will connect Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Lelystad, Arnhem, Den Bosch and Eindhoven in just 41 minutes.
According to Hardt, it would be possible to reach the Randstad in less than half an hour from anywhere in the country. As a result, it would take the pressure off of city populations as people would easily be able to commute.
There is also talk of connecting Schiphol to the route, but more needs to be discussed with the Dutch government to see if these plans are feasible.
The future of travel
According to Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, who opened the testing facility, "A new age has begun with self-driving vehicles, platooning trucks, and drones."
"In the Netherlands, we want to be the European test bed for these innovative and sustainable forms of transport and so build up more knowledge about them. The Hyperloop is fast, innovative, silent and sustainable and so very interesting for the transportation needs of the future."
Tim Houter, Hardt CEO stated, "We are creating a world where distance no longer matters. One where you will have the freedom to live and work wherever you want to."
Other routes around Europe
Other EU countries that are considering building their own tracks are the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. There are also three more ideas for routes that connect islands across seas; for example, the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, a route between the Spanish capital Madrid and Morocco and a pipe connection between Estonia and Finland.