Europe will get its first Hyperloop test track thanks to the partnership of the not-for-profit research institution EuroTube and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).
The innovative Hyperloop will be used for research into ultra-high-speed vacuum ground transportation. The test track will be designed for the transportation of goods, not people, SSB said. Swiss engineers need to know the potential of such an oversized vacuum tube and a velocity. Hypothetically, pods can travel down the track at speeds of up to 1,100 kmh, while the maximum velocity at the canton Valais site will be 900kmh.
The project is being run by EuroTube in partnership with SBB, said the official statement. In the second half of 2019, construction of the track should get underway. According to the engineers, Collombey-Muraz was chosen as the site for the future Hyperloop because of the flatness of its terrain and almost no obstacles.
The highly energy-efficient manner of Hyperloop-like transportation opens the bright perspective, the concept of air-pressure driven transport is far from new but has gained momentum since the entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk devised the Hyperloop Alpha concept for a vacuum and magnetic levitation powered super-fast train.
SpaceX founder and his engineer team released documentation on how the project might work and then challenged other researchers to develop the idea further.