The Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop was created in 2017 after its founders won the international hyperloop competition organized by Musk. Now it is touting a new study that says connecting Amsterdam with Brussels, Paris, and several German cities would boost the GDP of the North Holland area by €275 billion by 2040 and reduce annual flights from Schiphol airport by up to 24,000. Since the hyperloop would be powered by electricity instead of jet fuel, the reduction in local carbon emissions would be substantial.
The study was a joint effort between Hardt Hyperloop and the regional government of North Holland and is in the form of a 52-page graphic presentation. It finds the hyperloop could reduce commuting times from Amsterdam to Paris, Brussels, Düsseldorf, or Frankfurt from “hours to minutes” and adds “borders would, quite literally, become blurred.” It’s enough to remind a person of the Steely Dan song IGY that sang about “On that train all graphite and glitter, undersea by rail…”
The results of our study with the Dutch province of Noord-Holland show the remarkable economic benefits of hyperloop connections between Amsterdam and economic areas such as the German Ruhr. Want to learn more? View the full report here: https://t.co/9PhBuBGEtp
— Hardt Hyperloop (@HardtHyperloop) April 9, 2020
Jeroen Olthof, the deputy responsible for mobility in North Holland, tells The Guardian, “We know that people are willing to travel from door to door for up to one hour for their work. With such a super-fast hyperloop, it suddenly becomes possible to travel much longer commuting distances. That sounds promising. That is why we are going to consult with other authorities and parties to continue this research.”
Tata Steel is said to be collaborating with Hardt Hyperloop as the planning and testing phase of the proposed project moves forward. A 3-kilomete-long high speed test facility is under construction in the Dutch province of Groningen and a 30-meter low speed test tunnel has been completed in Delft.
One of the technical hurdles Hardt Hyperloop is wrestling with is how to switch hyperloop vehicles from one tunnel to another without slowing down from a top speed of 600 mph (965 km/h) or more. The following tweet will give you more insight into the Hardt Hyperloop vision of the future.
— Hardt Hyperloop (@HardtHyperloop) July 31, 2018
Not everyone is convinced the hyperloop concept is practical, feasible, or economically viable. It’s a brilliant concept that may or may not be relevant in the real world. Even Elon Musk seems to have backed away from the idea, preferring to concentrate instead on underground tunnels that can transport passengers over short distances at speeds up to 125 mph.
The key to the hyperloop concept is depressurizing the tubes the pods pass through to decrease wind resistance as much as possible. Doing that reliably over distances of hundreds of miles reliably 24 hours a day is a daunting task. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but the engineering challenges are enormous. Will the Hardt Hyperloop ever become a reality? “We’ll see,” said the Zen master.