Hyperloop test facility opens at TU/Delft; 1st in Europe could pave way to 1,000 km/h travel
Dutch Hyperloop startup HARDT opened its own test facility in Delft on Thursday. Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and Environment unveiled the Hyperloop test tube, the first of its kind in Europe. And while this structure is intended to test Hyperloop facilities at lower speeds, the 30 meter long tube could pave the way for transport at speeds over 1 thousand kilometers per hour, partner BAM said in a press release.
The 30 meter long tube was built in cooperation with construction company BAM. Rails developed by HARDT were installed in the tube. HARDT was founded by students from TU Delft, who won a prestigious Hyperloop competition by space company SpaceX early this year. One of the startup's investors is Dutch railway company NS.
"A new era has begun in mobility with self-driving vehicles, platooning trucks and drones. In the Netherlands we want to be the European test ground for this innovative and sustainable mobility and build up more knowledge. They Hyperloop is fast, innovative, quiet and sustainable and therefore very interesting for the mobility of the future", Schultz said at the unveiling. According to Schultz, the Hyperloop is the only means of transport that generates more energy than it takes. She therefore wants to give it all the space and efforts it needs.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment is considering Flevoland as location for a larger test facility, Schultz revealed. But whether this track will be built, depends on the results of an investigation the Ministry is currently doing on the "potential of the Hyperloop", she said.
HARDT plans to build a Hyperloop line between two cities within four years. This test facility will be used to test all important systems - such as safety, steering and stability - in a vacuum-environment.