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Mon December 04 2023

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Dutch provinces vie to host hyperloop test centre

4 Dec 19 Two Dutch provinces are to go head-to-head in a race to be home to the European Hyperloop Centre (EHC)

The provinces of Groningen and Zeeland have been selected as the final contenders from the four that had been in contention.

The EHC project has been initiated by Dutch developer Hardt Hyperloop, which plans to have a 3km track ready to test the new type of high-speed transport by 2022.

Hyperloop is intended to provide a solution for the growing need for transport of both passengers and freight. Vehicles will move autonomously in a low-pressure tube system by means of an electromagnetic propulsion system, potentially creating a sustainable alternative to short-haul flights.

The test centre being planned both as a facility for Hardt Hyperloop and for other developers from all over the world. The EHC will consist of the 3km test track and a research laboratory.

Research carried out at the EHC will seek to demonstrate whether or not the hyperloop can become a realistic alternative to short-haul flights.

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Tim Houter, CEO of Hardt Hyperloop, said: "Groningen and Zeeland both have an interesting bid. We see great opportunities to realise the EHC in either one of them."

Jo-Annes de Bat, provincial executive for the province of Zeeland, said: "The hyperloop fits well with our ambitions in terms of sustainability and innovation. Zeeland has been designated by the central government as a living lab for smart mobility; we are testing various new innovative transport options here. Now that we are a step closer to realisation, we look forward to meeting all the parties involved as quickly as possible.”

Groningen provincial executive Mirjam Wulfse said: “There is a lot of movement in Groningen. We are the youngest city in Europe and we are at the forefront of innovative solutions for major transitions such as energy, agriculture and transport. The university, companies and the authorities are working closely together on this. A test track for the hyperloop fits in perfectly with this ambition.”

The final decision will be taken next month.

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