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3km closer to the future: Hyperloop test centre to be opened in the TopDutch region

The future of mobility is taking place in the TopDutch region. The European Hyperloop Center announced today, December 20th 2019, that construction of the first European testing facility for the high-speed transport Hyperloop will start in the TopDutch region next year.

What is the Hyperloop?

The hyperloop is a promising technology for transporting people and goods. Hyperloop vehicles move autonomously in a tube system by means of a fully electromagnetic propulsion system. The low-pressure tubes provide ideal conditions for the vehicles to travel in a very energy-efficient manner, whilst being protected from the elements.

Travelling with the hyperloop is CO2 neutral and also very fast. From Amsterdam, it will take just 15 minutes to get to Eindhoven and 50 minutes to get to Frankfurt. The hyperloop has twice the capacity of current high-speed trains. This technology thereby offers a sustainable solution to challenges posed by the exponentially growing number of passengers and freight.

Is this the future of transport? (Rendering: Plompmozes)

What will the European Hyperloop Center do?

The new European Hyperloop Center (EHC) will be open to hyperloop developers from all over the world. This will promote cooperation, in order to accelerate the development of a technology that could offer a clean alternative to air travel.

Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop is a global frontrunner in hyperloop transport technology and initiator of the EHC. Hardt Hyperloop aims to accelerate the development of the technology by involving as many parties as possible with specific knowledge. Initial partners include Royal BAM Group, Tata Steel Europe and Royal IHC.

‘The open, knowledge-sharing ecosystem which encourages collaboration between multiple private and public partners is very important,’ said Tim Houter, CEO Hardt Hyperloop, the EHC’s initiator. ‘Implementing a project of this magnitude is not something that anyone can tackle alone. There is a wealth of knowledge and passion within Europe. With the EHC, we bring all this together to develop a single European system,’ said Houter.

A vision for a hyperloop station in the future (Rendering: Plompmozes)

Construction of the EHC will start in 2020 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Tests conducted at the EHC will determine whether the hyperloop is a realistic alternative to short- haul flights. Travel by hyperloop is CO2 neutral and can provide a sustainable solution for the growing global number of passengers and amount of freight.

The EHC will consist of a 3-kilometer test track, making it the first facility in Europe to test this revolutionary transport system at high speeds. The EHC will also host a Learning Center that will focus on European standardization, safety standards and the passenger travel experience.

Why the TopDutch region?

The European Hyperloop Center will be opening in the province of Groningen, after a head-to-head race with another Dutch province, Zeeland. ‘We are happy and proud that the EHC is coming to Groningen’, says Mirjan Wulfse, Provincial Executive for the province of Groningen. ‘The arrival of the EHC fits in seamlessly with our ambitions in innovation and sustainability. Companies, knowledge institutions and governments work closely together in Groningen on the development of smart and green mobility. The hyperloop test track is a wonderful addition to this. The EHC will put Groningen on the international map as a testing ground for smart and green transport. It will also create more employment in our region.’

Companies, knowledge institutions and governments work closely together in Groningen on the development of smart and green mobility.

Mirjan Wulfse, Provincial Executive for the province of Groningen.

The EHC assessment committee announced that both Groningen and Zeeland have submitted a very strong proposal. The choice was made based on planning and construction criteria, the regional ecosystem of partnerships and a financing package. Groningen ultimately emerged as the winner.

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