Like Tesla and SpaceX, Hyperloop is one of Elon Musk’s great future projects. In the future, people in a capsule should be able to travel through a vacuum tube. Since Musk presented the idea in 2013, the transport system has been tinkered with in many places around the world.
With a speed of around 1,000 kilometers per hour, travel should be as fast as by plane, but more environmentally friendly and cheaper than rail. Aviation billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop company conducted its first tests with passengers in the Nevada desert in November.
Goods could be sent across Europe via Hyperloop within hours
Now the Netherlands wants to use the technology to transport freight. An alliance of governments and companies wants to investigate a Hyperloop route between the regions of the port city of Rotterdam, one of the most important transshipment centers in Europe, and the capital Amsterdam. According to the press release of the Hyperloop Development Program (HDP) foundation, the pilot project is intended to represent “a first step towards the establishment of a Europe-wide, emission-free Hyperloop network”.
The study will examine areas such as product requirements, integration, socio-economic costs and benefits, and operation and maintenance, as well as the decision-making process for possible next steps. The results should be available by mid-2022.
The transport of goods via Hyperloop capsules should not only reduce CO2 emissions, but also be faster and more reliable – which is a great advantage, especially with fresh food. “Such a network would make it possible to send goods across Europe within hours instead of days,” says HDP.
The initiators hope that the relocation of freight traffic from the truck to the tube will also result in fewer traffic jams and better air quality in the densely populated area. The Cargo Hyperloop system is initially to be tested in the European Hyperloop Center in Groningen.