August 12, 2021
The Cargo Hyperloop Holland corridor is being investigated as a first step in creating a pan-European, emission-free hyperloop network. This network will make it possible to transport passengers and goods across Europe within hours, while drastically reducing emissions and road congestion.
The location of the first hyperloop corridor in the Netherlands has been selected based on the results of preparatory studies since the formation of the Hyperloop Development Program. Hyperloop transport has since become an innovative industry with great potential as a strong driver of the future growth of the Dutch economy.
The Cargo Hyperloop Holland project aims to address multiple challenges of sustainability, connectivity and innovation by:
- Reducing levels of road traffic and congestion on the A4 motorway by providing an additional transport modality;
- Reducing carbon and other transport-related emissions, thereby helping to achieve regional and national sustainability goals;
- Delivering future economic growth for North and South Holland by improving accessibility and connectivity between logistics and industrial centers in the region;
- Initiating the development of the European hyperloop network by implementing a pilot hyperloop project;
- Improving the reliability of transport and transport times for shippers in North and South Holland;
- Delivering savings and improving the efficiency of other transport infrastructure development schemes in the region.
"We approached this research differently from previously performed hyperloop studies by directly involving the future users of the system as well as other key stakeholders. For this project we established a collaboration of 35 stakeholders from the private and public sectors, including some of the largest Dutch exporters from the horticultural and fresh food industry. They not only provided crucial input to the product requirements but also contributed to selecting the locations of the hubs as well as the route alignment. The project largely follows the A4 motorway, which connects cities such as Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam. The A4 is crucial to the economic performance of this region. However, it also ranks among the most congested in The Netherlands. Currently proposed solutions will only partially solve this issue. Hyperloop could add capacity and therefore ease congestion on existing infrastructure while also increasing connectivity and productivity."
– Dominik Härtl (Global Business Development Manager at Hardt)
The total length of the corridor is 149 km, with 26 switches located at the junctions leading to hubs. 67% of the corridor is designed at grade, 5% is elevated, 21% is below ground and 7% makes up the transition sections. Most of the corridor is designed as a single tube line (64% of the corridor length), while the remaining 36% would have a double tube configuration.
The alignment of the Cargo Hyperloop Holland corridor has been evaluated to identify the risk of any potential conflicts with existing infrastructure, protected areas and planned developments. The major risks relate to conflicts with the future widening of the A4 and an additional runway planned for Schiphol airport. The conflict with the widening of the A4 has been resolved by adjusting the alignment. The plans for an additional runway will be further discussed with Schiphol Airport and the government.
The current alignment allows for a maximum speed of up to 400 km/h along almost 50% of the route. In the remaining sections, the speed is limited to 200 km/h, 150 km/h or 100 km/h, due to spatial integration requirements.
Speed sections, Cargo Hyperloop Holland corridor
The Cargo Hyperloop Holland corridor is divided into three sections that have been considered separately (alongside the corridor) in order to identify the most viable potential pilot route.
The development of the Cargo-Hyperloop Holland corridor will provide a new opportunity for the logistics sector to use a sustainable and fast mode of transportation, first on the regional scale, and then within national and European hyperloop networks. The implementation of the Cargo-Hyperloop Holland corridor will result in significant positive socio-economic impacts contributing to strategic European and national objectives.
- Competitiveness of the businesses in the region will be improved. These benefits will range from €1.3 billion when the corridor is considered separately, to €1.9 billion for the corridor being a part of wider Dutch and European hyperloop networks.
- Carbon emissions from freight transport operations in the corridor will be reduced by 1 million tonnes in 2050.
- A whole new industry is developing around the hyperloop technology. The implementation of the Cargo-hyperloop Holland corridor will boost this industry with 18,000 jobs created in Netherlands and Europe
Implementation of the Cargo-hyperloop Holland corridor will also result in reduction of the negative external costs associated with road transport via truck such as accidents, air pollution, noise, congestion, habitat damage and infrastructure costs that can be avoided by shifting cargo to the hyperloop system.
Reduction in carbon emissions
|(in ton CO₂)||Corridor only|
|CO₂ emissions during production and construction||326,400|
|CO₂ emissions during operations||
|CO₂ emissions savings||608,200|
|CO₂ emissions saving||-273,700|
Jobs created by hyperloop
The resulting economic performance indicators confirm high economic value of the corridor, ranging from €0.5 billion in a single-corridor scenario to €1.2 billion for the corridor being a part of the wider Dutch and European hyperloop network.
|(Present values in million €1)||Corridor only||Corridor with NL network||Corridor with NL and EU network|
(at shadow prices)
Based on the economic results achieved for the corridor and its sections, the implementation of the full Cargo-hyperloop Holland corridor, as the first hyperloop route in Europe and a starting point of the future continental hyperloop network for cargo and passengers, is recommended, as it brings the full scope of economic benefits. However, the Greenports section could be considered as a shorter pilot as it is economically viable on its own. The pilot route would bring limited benefits comparing to the whole corridor, but it would serve as a commercial demonstrator of hyperloop capabilities to build social support and public adoption for hyperloop, and provide lessons and learnings to be used for large-scale deployment.
The Cargo-Hyperloop Holland project is realized in accordance with a general transport infrastructure development framework, with a decision-making process being iterated after each preparatory phase . The initial two steps (the concept study and the pre-feasibility study), have been completed so far. As the results of the pre-feasibility assessment are positive and have proven feasibility of the project at this stage, the project will move to the next realization step - the feasibility study, when project partners are defined, and supported by project promoters and stakeholders, undertake a detailed assessment to make the final go/no-go decision about the project implementation. After successfully completing this step, the preparatory process will be finalized by 2024, and the design, engineering and construction will commence. The project will become operational in 2029.
Successfully proving the economic viability of the Cargo-Hyperloop Holland corridor, the next steps will be focused on establishing government leadership for the project, initiating the necessary regulatory adjustments, and conducting further research on the technical aspects of the route, including passenger transport application, and its future role as a part of European hyperloop network.
''The development of the Cargo-Hyperloop Holland corridor will provide a new opportunity for the logistics sector to use a sustainable and fast mode of transportation, first on the regional scale, and then within national and European hyperloop networks.''