Dutch companies call on gov't to take the lead in hyperloop development

TU Delft's Hyperloop capsule stands ready for a race in Hawthorne, California, 30 Jan 2017
TU Delft's Hyperloop capsule stands ready for a race in Hawthorne, California, 30 Jan 2017Photo: @tudelft / Twitter

The Netherlands must take the lead in developing the hyperloop by making sure that the country gets the first test track for this high speed transport system, a number of Dutch companies wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, which covers Transport, NU.nl reports.

The letter was signed by, among others, BAM, Fokker, Movares, VDL, NS, ProRail, and the port of Rotterdam. The hyperloop is a super fast means of transportation through a vacuum tube. The technology is still in the testing phase, but scientists believe that it will eventually be able to transport travelers and goods at speeds of up to 1,200 kilometers per hour.

The companies call for a hyperloop test facility of between 3 and 5 kilometers near Lelystad. Building such a test track will cost around 120 million euros, and the companies are willing to help pay for this. What proportion of that amount their contribution will cover, was not stated. 

The former Minister of Infrastructure, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, showed interest in the hyperloop, but left the decision on whether to pursue it up to her successor. She also considered a location near Lelystad to be an ideal option for a hyperloop test track. Now that the new government is in office, the Dutch businesses think its time to get started. 

TU Delft already has a 30 meter long hyperloop test track, and in the United States there is one of a few hundred meters long. The next step is a full track with switches and a start- and end station.