Central Europe – The first operational hyperloop train line in the world should connect Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in 2020 in less than 20 minutes…
The news is stunning, and difficult to believe. But the first hyperloop train should be functional in Central Europe in 2020, according to Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) company, which signed an agreement with Slovakia in March, earlier this year. The project should be ready in 2020, and connect Budapest to Bratislava in 10 minutes and Bratislava to Wien in 8 minutes.
The hyperloop is a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table,” according to Elon Musk, the American entrepreneur of Tesla and SpaceX, which made this technology open-sourced, so many others people and companies might work on further developments. This tube transportation system is similar to the maglev train used in Japan, but incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors. According to Elon Musk, this technology is much more reliable and cheaper than the French High Speed Train (Train à Grande Vitesse – TGV) or the Japanese maglev trains. Addressing safety concerns, HTT says its capsules will be made of high-strength carbon-fiber called Vibranium.
Hyperloop trains might reach a top speed of 1,200km/h, approximately the speed of sound. No details have been yet released about the project except for some design specifics. The trains will be granted with fake windows simulating the exterior environment and providing information about the current speed or the weather conditions.
Several companies are developing the hyperloop project. HTT is the one which will make probably the first commercial line ever to rely Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. This would have obviously a huge impact on regional development, although, it is too early to know the regularity and the cost of the travels.
Many countries and national railway companies are involved already in the hyperloop technology’s development, such as Russia, which want to build an hyperloop line for $ 8 billion to connect Moscow and St-Petersburg within 30 minutes, or the French railway company SNCF. Tests are currently being made in California.
Elon Musk speaks about a “fifth mode of transport”, telling that this transportation system would be immune to weather conditions, collision free, having twice the speed of a plane, having a low power consumption – five time less than a plane! – and energy storage for 24-hour operations. For sure, the project is amazing and really charming, but very few details and no official state communication have been made about it yet, which incline to restraint and caution. But there is hope.