Hyperloop as addition to the
transportation landscape

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June 9, 2020

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AAS) is vital to the Dutch economy. The airport enables the Netherlands to fulfill an important international function as a hub for trade and services. The further improvement of international accessibility, for both people and goods, is crucial to facilitating and strengthening the national economy. However, though accessibility and connectivity are of vital importance, the airport faces increasing pressure on its capacity, which creates challenges in facilitating the high quality of the airport's network.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Royal Schiphol Group's partnership work is constantly evolving as it collaborates with various organizations to explore new forms of mobility, innovative transportation networks and other developments within the mobility landscape. As part of this, Schiphol and Hardt started their partnership.

Announced in September 2018 during the HyperSummit, the partnership sees Schiphol working with Hardt to investigate to what extent hyperloop can help in meeting the future accessibility needs.

The hyperloop concept aligns closely with Schiphol's wider innovation program and could prove to be a valuable addition to the future transportation landscape. In particular, this technology has the potential to become a successful mode of sustainable transport in the years ahead.

Our sincere gratitude to Royal Schiphol Group for their active and enthusiastic participation in the study.

This study takes as its context the years between 2030 and 2050. During that period, following the WLO-Scenarios, aviation passenger demand is projected to grow at a higher rate than the airport can accommodate.

The WLO-scenarios set out two perspectives on passenger demand: the “unrestricted” scenario (in which no policy or capacity restrictions at the airport are considered), and the “restricted” scenario (where airport restrictions are taken into consideration).

In the Restricted-High scenario, there is a demand gap in 2030 of 21.5 million passengers, and in 2050 the gap increases to 58.3 million passengers compared with the unrestricted scenario. See figures 1 and 2.

The hyperloop system is modelled with the following parameters.

  • High capacity - up to 20,000 passengers per hour per direction at 700 km/h (or 40,000 passengers per hour with trains of coupled vehicles).
  • High transit speeds - operational speeds ranging from 500 km/h to 1000 km/h.
  • Low energy consumption - 38 Wh/passenger/km at 700 km/h.
  • Low maintenance - magnetic levitation and propulsion without friction, and switching without moving components minimizes wear and tear.
  • Zero operational emissions - fully electric, powered by renewable energy sources, produces zero operational emissions.
  • Minimized infrastructure footprint - the small footprint of the elevated infrastructure allows hyperloop routes to follow existing infrastructure and reach, as well as integrate with transport hubs.

Based on these parameters, an expected market share for hyperloop was calculated. The graph below presents the results for 406 O-D pairs in Europe in short, medium, and long distances, compared to high-speed rail and aviation. It can be divided into three ranges:

  • 100-500 km: in this range high-speed rail currently competes with aviation. Hyperloop could substitute a share of both HSR and aviation.
  • 500-1750 km: substitution of flights in distances between 500 km and 1500 km solely by hyperloop, as high-speed rail is not considered competitive, and hyperloop outperforms aviation in this range.
  • 1750-3000 km: competition between aviation and hyperloop will occur as hyperloop proves to be competitive to aviation (similar to HSR and aviation in the range to 500km).

By 2050, the capacity of AAS to handle flights will be restricted, putting pressure on the high quality of the network. Aviation passenger demand is projected to grow at a higher rate than the airport can accommodate, according to WLO scenarios. And by 2050 it is calculated that the airport will be unable to facilitate expected passenger numbers of up to 58 million annually.

This case study presents hyperloop as a sustainable means of transport that could contribute to the growth of AAS as part of a balanced approach. It focuses on sustainable ways to accommodate aviation demand, reduce airport congestion and maintain the competitive position of AAS as an international multi-modal hub.

Embedding the hyperloop at Schiphol
Schiphol Airport is busy, and space is limited. The existing built environment dictates the possible locations for hyperloop. In the scope of this study, Hardt, Royal Schiphol Group and UNStudio conducted a exploratory study towards the spatial and operational implications of the Schiphol Hyperloop Terminal.

The Schiphol Hyperloop Terminal configuration is designed to accommodate at least the projected 12.5 million annual aviation passengers. Schiphol Hyperloop Terminal Peak-Hour Passenger (PHP) demand in the 2050 low and high scenarios ranges from 2.500–3.000 passengers per peak-hour. The ratio Non-Schengen (London) and Schengen destinations is 50-50. Therefore, one platform will be dedicated to the Non-Schengen destinations, and one platform to the Schengen destinations (see table 2). On average 6-7 trains per hour depart/arrive per platform, resulting in a turnaround time per train of 7-10 minutes on average.

Pre-feasibility study Schiphol-Hyperloop
The study is executed in collaboration and consultation with stakeholders within Royal Schiphol Group and industry partners. A big thank you to all partners and contributors for their valuable input and expertise.
Prepared by: Hardt Hyperloop
In collaboration with: Royal Schiphol Group Partners and contributors to the study:
BAM, UNStudio, CE Delft, Stibbe, AirportCreators, SEO Amsterdam Economics (Advisory Role).

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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport hyperloop platform (Architecture by UNSTUDIO, visualization by Plomp)