Dutch take on Branson in Hyperloop stakes

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Dutch take on Branson in Hyperloop stakes credit: Shutterstock


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RICHARD BRANSON’S plans for a test track for his Hyperloop One fast transport system in Spain have been beaten by a Dutch start up.

Hardt says it has successfully completed Europe’s first Hyperloop tunnel, bringing it one step closer to launching what it hopes to be a 10,000km system that will whisk travellers to their destination at up to 1,000 kph.

But it has a long way to go–the test tunnel in the Netherlands is only 30 metres long, although the company says it demonstrates all the technology that will be need to develop the sealed tunnel system that will run on a magnetic track where the carriages hover above the floor (Maglev) in anear vacuum.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One company signed an agreement to build a research and development facility for a near-supersonic rail transit system in 2018.The Spanish state-owned rail infrastructure company ADIF agreed a deal with Hyperloop One which will see further development and testing of the revolutionary transport system start in Bobadilla ,Malaga by 2020.

The Virgin Hyperloop One is a fresh take on transportation, essentially a shuttle that travels using magnetic levitation in an ultra-low pressure tube to minimise air resistance.Speeds of 387 km/h (240 mph) have already been achieved during testing in the States but the system could, theoretically, travel faster than the speed of sound.Virgin Hyperloop One chief executive team Rob Lloyd said at the time: “By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long tradition as an innovative, global transport leader.

“We are excited to partner with such a forward-thinking country in developing the next generation of transportation.”

It is understood that the company will receive €126 million in the form of loans and grants to set up the new facility.

ADIF said the centre could create 250 highly skilled jobs in the next five years.The rail infrastructure company said Virgin has chosen Spain for its hyperloop tests thanks to ADIF’s engineering and technology expertise, the availability of highly qualified talent and the fact that Spain is a leader in high-speed rail travel.

The new facility will be located in the Railway Technology Centre in Bobadilla where there are already around 60 companies working in different areas of innovation in railway technologies.

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