Hyperloop One, the company trying to bring “broadband for transportation” to the world, has revealed the nine routes it’s considering across Europe.
The routes have been announced following the company’s “global challenge” which invited cities to pitch why they should be selected to host the Hyperloop network. Hyperloop One then took these pitches and shortlisted the routes which it considered the most economically and technically viable.
The nine routes it’s considering for further exploration range from a short 90km connection between Estonia and Finland to an extensive loop around Germany which will be almost 2000kms long.
Future of transport
There are several routes being considered within the UK, including a connection which would see a 50-minute journey from Edinburgh to London (a journey shorter than many commutes within London at the moment). There's also plans for an arc which would connect the Northern cities of Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, and a direct connection between Scotland and Wales.
More than one of the routes such as Corsica to Sardinia and Spain to Morocco involve crossing large bodies of water but as Hyperloop One plans to make extensive use of tunnels, water may actually be less of a financial and time consuming barrier to overcome than solid ground as it would require less tunneling. It has the potential, however, to be an engineering nightmare.
Though the prospect of fast journeys around Europe is exciting, Hyperloop One is still in the very early stages of real-life testing and has only recently completed construction of its first full-scale two mile long test track in Nevada.
This means we’re years (perhaps closer to decades) away from seeing anything being built, overground or underground.
That said, Hyperloop One has now committed to bring tracks to the US, Europe, and Dubai so though its technology is inching forward, it certainly shows no sign of slowing down and its ambition is only growing.
It's also worth noting that Hyperloop One isn't the only company trying to bring Hyperloop transportation to the world; with a similar name and intentions, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is also making plans to go global and has already signed agreements (opens in new tab) with several Eastern European countries to explore building Hyperloop systems.
With both HTT and Hyperloop One trying to win over government bodies across the world, there is at least a good chance competition will drive innovation and the development of the technology will pick up speed.