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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 March 2019

Testing on Hyperloop system just weeks away

Engineers at Hyperloop Transportation Technologies prepare for first runs of Quintero One capsule in France

A 320 metre Hyperloop test track is being finalised in Toulouse, France so testing of the Quintero One capsule can begin. Courtesy Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
A 320 metre Hyperloop test track is being finalised in Toulouse, France so testing of the Quintero One capsule can begin. Courtesy Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Testing on the first full-scale Hyperloop system which has the capacity to transport passengers at the speed of sound is just weeks away.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is one of the international companies bidding to become the first to bring a working high-speed passenger system to the mass market.

The UAE is likely to be among the first countries to benefit from the high-speed innovation with the potential to reduce travel times between emirates to just minutes.

As construction on the company's 320-metre test track nears completion in Toulouse, France, project scientists hope to begin operational testing in April.

“Our system in Toulouse will be the only system to be fully insured and safety certified by leading global agencies,” said Hyperloop TT chairman and co-founder Bibop Gresta, who has offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“We look forward to sharing our future developments there as we make further progress.”

Hyperloop TT and rival company Virgin Hyperloop One are each planning to unveil versions of the technology in the UAE in time for Expo 2020 Dubai.

The US Pavilion at the world fair is expected to feature a similar working model of the Virgin Hyperloop One system as the centrepiece of its future of mobility exhibition.

The company plans to open a test track of its own, with a 15-kilometre route planned to run from Balewadi to Gahunje in India.

Hyperloop TT is also wrapping up a comprehensive feasibility study for a track in the Great Lakes region of the US, connecting Cleveland and Chicago.

Toulouse will be the staging ground for the company’s first commercial projects planned for Abu Dhabi and China.

The technology uses electromagnetic levitation of passenger capsules that move through a vacuum tube at speeds approaching 1,230kph.

Various routes have been considered to connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi by both companies, for cargo and passengers.

Hyperloop TT’s passenger capsule, Quintero One, was unveiled in southern Spain in October, before being transported to France for testing.

The latest round of safety tests involve depressurisation of the tubular track using a vacuum pump system.

“In Toulouse, we have taken the time to design and build a truly commercially viable system,” said Hyperloop TT’s chief executive and co-founder Dirk Ahlborn.

“As we get ready for testing, we are proud to share our most recent milestones at our research and development centre in Europe’s ‘aerospace valley’, which will serve as our staging ground for our efforts worldwide.”

Updated: February 27, 2019 09:01 AM

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