Canada’s Transpod Corporation announced Tuesday that it has raised more than half a billion dollars to begin construction of a 300 km high-speed rail line between Edmonton and Calgary. Behind this announcement, the startup is above all taking the lead in the concept of the hyperloop, which is supposed to revolutionize the world of transportation.
Originally, the Hyperloop is a futuristic concept for a high-speed “train” launched in 2013 by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The latter also organized a competition for several years that would allow the project to be implemented.
The concept is to allow a type of train or capsule to reach a speed of 1,200 km/h thanks to propulsion on magnetized air cushions in vacuum tubes. For the American billionaire, the hyperloop could thus become a “fifth mode of transportation”, after the car, train, boat and plane.
So far, various projects around the world to implement this new mode of transport seemed somewhat stalled, but Transpod could have taken a big step.
>> Listen to CQFD’s report on Hyperloop:
The largest funding for this technology
In the application of this technology, Transpod, of course, has competitors, but the Canadian company is the first to succeed in securing funding of this size.
This first half-billion dollar envelope should enable the company to complete the first section that will connect the airport to downtown Edmonton. Work must begin in 5 years to commission by 2031.
With this announcement, leaders now hope for a ripple effect from other special funds, because to fund the entire line between Edmonton and Calgary, the total budget is estimated at $19 billion.
Swiss project still in progress
But if the Transpod seems to have taken a step forward, competitors still hope to do well in this race for the supersonic train.
For the development of the hyperloop, there are currently seven competitors, four of which are European. The headquarters of the companies are located in Spain, the Netherlands, Poland but also in Switzerland.
In fact, the EPFLoop-Swisspod project, which was developed as its name suggests within the framework of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, is one of the few projects still active.
>> See the 7:30 p.m. report:
Ultimately and in theory, the Hyperloop project could revolutionize the world of transportation. It can allow to travel with the safety of a train and the speed of an airplane, without dependence on the weather, without noise pollution and with very little carbon dioxide emissions.
Innovation can also create jobs. In Canada, the province of Alberta, which is betting on the Transpod hyperloop, expects significant local benefits. According to the feasibility study, the construction of this first line should create up to 140,000 jobs.
For their part, the thermals above all question whether the Hyperloop project really responds to the problems of transport congestion. Because one of the biggest criticisms leveled at these projects is that they cannot match the transport capacity of the railways.
>> Check out this other thread starting at 7:30pm, which takes a look at the Hyperloop competition organized by Elon Musk:
Fouad Boukari / other
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