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Dutch House of Representatives wants financing of hyperloop test facility

5-12-2017

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On Tuesday the Dutch House of Representatives voted unanimously for the motion of D'66 Member of Parliament Rob Jetten. The motion requests the government to investigate the financing of a high-speed test facility for the hyperloop in Flevoland in cooperation with Hardt Hyperloop and other private parties. The motion was co-signed by the other coalition parties VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie and could count on the support of all opposition parties. The House of Representatives wants the Netherlands to be in the lead in the development of the super-fast transportation system that allows passengers and goods to travel with speeds up to 1200 kilometers per hour in vacuum tubes.

Not only politicians, but also Dutch businesses want to work on a high-speed test facility. Several companies pleaded in a letter to the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management for an investment in a hyperloop test track. Some notable backers of the proposal include the Dutch Railways, BAM and the Port of Rotterdam and want the Netherlands to become the knowledge hotspot for this new technology, with all the resulting economic spin-off.

"It's great to see that the opportunities offered by the hyperloop are now also acknowledged by politicians. I look forward to cooperate with the new Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management on the financing the new test track ", says Tim Houter, CEO and co-founder of Hardt Hyperloop. "Things are going in the right direction."

Costs

TNO report 'Hyperloop in the Netherlands' is very positive about societal and economic benefits of a test facility. The report indicates that a test facility, spanning 5 kilometers, would cost up to 120 million euros. This planned test facility would be the first of its kind in which all parts of the hyperloop system could be tested on high speeds prior to the commercial application. This includes testing of curves, switches, passenger pods, safety and the operation of the timetable. The feasibility study by TNO of such a test facility was commissioned by former Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Schultz van Haegen. Schultz van Haegen left the decision on the financing of the test facility up to the House of Representatives and het successor, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen.

Test facility in Delft

Hardt Hyperloop has already a test facility in Delft where all important systems can be tested at low speeds in a vacuum. This 30-meter-long test facility was built in collaboration with construction company BAM and is the first in Europe. For the operational application of the new mode of transportation, Hardt Hyperloop wants to test at high speeds in a longer test facility, like the one proposed in Flevoland.

Technology development

Hyperloop technology is rapidly gaining momentum. Many countries are already considering building hyperloop test facilities. Meanwhile, a hyperloop market is in the making, now focusing on the testing of levitation technology, hyperloop tracks, switches and control mechanisms. For now, the only hyperloop company to exist in Europe is the Dutch startup Hardt Hyperloop, which has emerged from Delft Hyperloop, the team that won this January Elon Musk’s 2017 Hyperloop competition. Hardt Hyperloop is widely supported by BAM, Dutch Railways, Delft University of Technology and UNIIQ.

Hyperloop

In a hyperloop, people and goods can travel at a speed of more than one thousand kilometers per hour through tubes with minimum air resistance. The hyperloop infrastructure will not be subject to sound or environmental taxes. Integrated solar panels will offer the necessary energy to power the technology. Transport via the hyperloop is therefore potentially faster, cleaner and cheaper than a train or an airplane. 

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