BAM has worked with the winners of a hyperloop competition to build the 30m-long test facility on the campus of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The project had been announced last month (link opens in new tab).
Hardt, which was founded as a company by a number of the winners from Elon Musk’s hyperloop competition earlier this year, has also announced its plans to create an operational system. A hyperloop will enable people and goods to travel at speeds of more than a 1,000km/h through tubes with very low air resistance.
Hardt aims to begin building a hyperloop route between two cities within the next four years. The test facility is the first in a series planned to build the first hyperloop route step by step. After completing the low-speed tests, Hardt will aim to build a test facility that will enable the testing of all the systems at high speed.
The first test facility consists of a tube with a length of 30m and an external diameter of 3.2m. It will allow Hardt to test key systems in a vacuum at low speeds. This includes testing the safety, the propulsion, the gliding and the stabilisation of the hyperloop vehicle.
Before the unveiling, Dutch infrastructure and environment minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen announced that her ministry is to work with Hardt and the American company Hyperloop One to research the possibilities for hyperloop in the Netherlands. The Ministry will be looking into aspects such as the current state of the technology, spatial planning and the organisation of a hyperloop system.
Schultz said: “In terms of transportation, a new age has begun with self-driving vehicles, platooning trucks, and drones. In the Netherlands, we want to be the European test bed for these innovative and sustainable forms of transport and so build up more knowledge about them. The hyperloop is fast, innovative, silent and sustainable and so very interesting for the transportation needs of the future.”
In conjunction with TU Delft and BAM, Hardt is also studying social issues concerning the new vehicle. In order to study the integration of the hyperloop into a living and working environment, the test facility is located at the Green Village on the university campus of. This 'living laboratory' serves as a test bed for radical innovations that are focused on a sustainable future. The location provides scope for research into, for example, the social integration and social acceptance of the new transport method.
Marinus Schimmel, director of BAM Infra Nederland, said: “We are constantly looking for new and smart ways of travelling in order to make an important contribution to improving our transportation systems and creating a more sustainable society. We are on the verge of a unique, completely new technology which will allow us to make much more efficient use of our means of transport and our transport infrastructure.”