Hyperloop One has finalised 10 routes that could make history as the first commercial use of the futuristic transport concept.
The Hyperloop concept – whereby a magnetic levitation (maglev) train is propelled at high speed through a near-vacuum tube – is becoming less science fiction and more science fact.
In a statement issued by one of the technology’s biggest developers, Hyperloop One, 10 routes have been selected from five different countries as the most viable for the first commercial tracks, as part of the Global Challenge competition.
A panel of experts in infrastructure, technology and transportation was brought in to examine the feasibility of dozens of bids that were entered by various engineering teams more than a year ago.
Now, Hyperloop One has said it will work closely with each of the winning teams or routes to determine their commercial viability.
This will include workshops to oversee technical support with each of the winning teams. Hyperloop One selected them on the basis of these routes being well defined, with significant potential for involvement from both public and private sectors.
The routes cover five different countries including the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK and India, the largest of which would see a 1,102km track built between Mumbai and Chennai, which would cater to a population of more than 43m people.
Marking a noticeable success for the UK, the two proposed routes would see either a Hyperloop track connect Edinburgh and London over a distance of 666km, or a slightly shorter track from Glasgow to Liverpool via Newcastle.
Competition heats up
“The winning teams of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge represent the best innovation and creativity from government agencies, engineering firms, academics, infrastructure experts and more,” said Josh Giegel, co-founder and president of engineering at Hyperloop One.
“We’re encouraged by these compelling projects that aim to increase passenger mobility, connect urban centres, reimagine trade and cargo, and enhance quality of life.”
Hyperloop One, which possesses a full-scale Hyperloop system, said that in addition to these 10 routes, it has begun working with the Colorado Department of Transportation and engineering firm Aecom on a potential public private partnership in the state.
Meanwhile, Hyperloop One’s biggest rival, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, recently revealed that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to connect the city centres of Amaravathi and Vijaywada.
The route would reduce the hour-long travel time between them to six minutes, and, in the process of construction, would lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs in the region.